This is an easy, versatile, and flavorful chili that my Grandma used to feed Grandpa and four growing boys. She’d mix it together, and then let it simmer to develop flavor while she worked on other things. It’s versatile because you can use ground beef, venison, or turkey; or any combination depending on what’s available. And, you can vary the heat by using mild, medium, or hot chili beans, use more or less jalapeno pepper (either seeded or unseeded), and add chili pepper if desired. The condensed tomato soup gives it a slightly sweet base, so the heat of the other ingredients hits you slowly. I regularly make several different chili recipes, but this one is an easy, dependable, “go-to” favorite that I can vary to suit the situation. You know, some like it hot, and some don’t…….
1 lb. lean ground beef, venison, or turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional, and either seeded or unseeded, I use unseeded)
ground chipotle chili or other pepper (to taste)
2 cans (16 oz) chili beans (mild, medium, or hot depending on taste)
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
Brown the ground meat on low, and add the onion, red pepper, and jalapeno pepper. Cook until the vegetables are slightly limp and add the chili pepper, tomato soup, chili beans, and diced tomatoes. Stir together, add two soup cans of water and simmer uncovered (stirring regularly to prevent burning) for several hours to blend flavors. Makes 3 quarts, and the recipe can be doubled – usually is at our house.
My base recipe for this (not too hot but somewhat spicy) is to use the unseeded jalapeno pepper, the medium chili beans, and no added chili pepper. Everyone usually likes it prepared this way – but for just us, I’d probably move to the hot beans and add at least a 1/2 teaspoon of the chipotle pepper. The chili shown in the picture is a double batch made with venison.