Dad’s Tavern Chili Recipe

Cook Eat Share
65 mins (prep 25, cooking 40)
18 ingredients
8 servings
As an adolescent I was commissioned by my dad to make a huge pot of chili for his tavern weekly, and I earned fifty cents a batch doing so! (This was before the era of food safety regulation and inspection - I just made it in our home kitchen!) Dad had taught me how to make his chili, and everyone agreed it was in a class of its own. I hadn’t thought much about it and certainly never tried to replicate it for the past 60 years or so, and now some of the ingredients are either unavailable or non-existent. But this week I started thinking about the old times and wondered if I still “had it in me” to make that wonderful chili. This recipe is about one third of that humongous kettle I made back then, stays close to my memories of how it was made, and tastes nearly the same. Dad would be proud of me if he were here to sample it. (But my price for making it today for him would be inflation-adjusted LOL!)

Categories:  southwestern ,
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  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground round or sirloin or other lean beef, coarse-grind preferred * (see note)
  • 1 14.5 -ounce can diced tomatoes (or use 3 large fresh tomatoes peeled and chopped)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste, plus one can-full of water
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce, plus one can-full of water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (i use gebhardt brand)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 or 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • note: the meat is not drained after browning because being lowfat it isn’t necessary and doing so would mean a loss of the onion/pepper juices and flavors as well


Serving Size (10.24 g)
Servings 8
Amount per Serving
Calories 43.57 Calories from Fat 38.07
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4.23g 52.05%
Saturated Fat 0.36g 14.57%
Trans Fat 0.01g %
Cholesterol 0.0mg 0.0%
Sodium 438.59mg 146.2%
Total Carbohydrate 1.94g 5.18%
Dietary Fiber 1.33 g 42.47%
Sugars 0.27 g %
Protein 0.51g 8.22%
Vitamin A 1096.31IU% Vitamin C 0.06mg%
Calcium 12.79mg% Iron 0.66mg%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your diet value must be higher or lower depending upon your calorie needs:
  Calories 2,000 2,500
Total Fat Less Than 65g 80g
Sat Fat Less Than 20g 25g
Cholesterol Less Than 300mg 300mg
Sodium Less Than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carb   300g 375g
Dietary Fiber   25g 30g
Potassium   3,500 mg
Protein   50 g
Calories Per Gram
Fat 9•Carbohydrate 4•Protein 4
*Nutrition information was calculated excluding the following ingredients:
large, green bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, or, large garlic cloves, lean beef, or, ground round, diced tomatoes, ground cumin, pinto beans, or, drained, a