Sunday, October 12, 2014

Homemade Chili Mix & Resulting Chili

Homemade Chili Mix

This may look like a regular recipe post on a blog, but it's actually me at 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon avoiding lesson planning for the week. There I said it. I don't like lesson planning.
Now that I've admitted that, onto the chili.
I normally purchase chili mix in little packets in the grocery store to make chili. Recently, though, I didn't have a packet in the house when I went to make chili, so I looked one up on the internet. What do you know--there are a bunch of recipes out there. I actually forgot which one I used the first time, but today I'm writing down and posting what I used, which is adapted from is my go-to recipe finder because they have so many recipes to choose from AND especially because they have reviews and ratings. This one rated high, so I've used it. And I like it too. 
I think the taste will depend a lot on the chili powder you use, so I recommend using one you already know you love, or try something you know has a good reputation. I really like the Bueno Special Reserve that my brother's friends introduced me to. I "import" it from New Mexico, but if you click on that link, you can order some online.
The resulting chili is super good. Not too spicy, a little greasy, and very satisfying. I tried a cooking method I've seen several times on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives--cooking the meat in water before adding spices and tomato sauce. I think the difference is that you don't drain the fat, as I do when I brown the meat first, and dang it--it tastes better. Oh well, I just won't make it very often then.
Give it a try--chances are you have all of the ingredients in your cupboard already.

Homemade Chili Mix & Resulting Chili
    --Adapted from

Chili Mix Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder (I used Bueno Special Reserve medium hot)
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons masa* (corn) flour
Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in a zip top bag until ready to use.

Makes enough mix for one recipe of chili (below)
*You can use all-purpose flour if you don't have access to masa flour, but it's really a second choice--try to get the masa if you can.

Homemade Chili
Chili Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef (I like to use 90/10)
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 recipe of Chili Mix Powder (recipe above)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces or 2 8 oz cans)
  • 4 teaspoons beef base or 4 cubes beef bullion
  • 1-2 cans pinto or kidney beans (optional)
In a high-rimmed saucepan over medium heat, place 1 cup water and the ground beef. Allow to start simmering and then break up the ground beef with a spoon, spatula, or other appropriate kitchen tool.
When beef is cooked through, add the chili mix and stir. Add tomato sauce and 2 cups water. Add beef base/bullion. Stir until incorporated. Bring chili to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. (Add the beans now if you're going to use them) Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes to 1 hour on low. The longer you simmer it, the more tender the meat will be. If it seems to be getting too thick, add a little more water, about 1/4 cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
Leftovers freeze and reheat very well.

Serves 8-10, depending on appetites
Recipe is easily halved


  1. I trying this tonight! I wasn't going to make chili tonight, but I am now. Thanks for the recipe.


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