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Billie's Chili

MID 1940'S

This is the chili that I grew-up with. It is a little different than what most people are used to, but my mother is from the mid-west and this is how they do it there! I have made this chili for many people over the years, and I must say there has been a myriad of strange reactions to this unusually soupy concoction.  Make no mistake about it… they, in the end are all won over. Believe me your friends and family will be begging you to make that “spaghetti-soup” stuff!

Making large portions is great for this recipe, because it freezes well and it always tastes better the next day. As a matter of fact, I sometimes make it Thursday night before I go to bed when having a gang of friends over on Friday – get the picture? This to me, is the very foundation of my comfort food repertoire.

This recipe is for a large pot, and it simply goes like this…

3lbs. ground chuck or sirloin (I prefer using lean cuts of meat)
3 large can of tomatoes (stewed, broken-up or diced)
3 can of kidney beans (dark, red or a combination of both)
3 medium to large onion
1- 1 ½ box (es) spaghetti
4-6 tbs. Chili powder (I use hot chili powder)
4-6 Garlic Cloves
Olive oil

Start a large pot of water to boil for the spaghetti. Sauté chopped onions and garlic in olive oil in a very large stock pot (I use a tamale pot which I bought from a Mexican grocery store). Add ground meat, chili powder, and pepper when onions start to soften, and brown. Do not add salt, because there will be enough when you add the pasta later. Be careful not to break up the meat too small. While meat is browning add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water and fully cook the spaghetti. DO NOT DRAIN THE PASTA. When the pasta is finished cooking turn off the heat and let it sit until adding to the big pot. You will want to cook the spaghetti a little more than al dente, because it will continue to absorb liquid as all of the ingredients come together. Add tomatoes and beans to the meat, and simmer. Adjust seasonings to taste. Pour the pasta - water and all into the big pot and continue to simmer. At this time, add salt to taste. Serve with oyster crackers or a loaf of fresh bread and butter.
Enjoy, and please let me know how this works for you!

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