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Jon's Awesome Chili

Updated on July 26, 2017
This chili is awesome!
This chili is awesome! | Source

Jon's Awesome Chili

3.8 stars from 26 ratings of Jon's Awesome Chili

How My Chili Came To Be

This chili has evolved over several decades, combining ideas from different recipes. It started with my mother's recipe, which won many chili cook-offs. I managed a restaurant that made award-winning chili, so I learned a few tricks while there. Over the years I added a few more ingredients by trial and error, and it's time to share!

I've won a lot of chili cook-offs, and I believe it's because of one main reason: This chili appeals to almost everyone. It's not a specialty chili, such as Beer Chili, or White Chili. It's not super-spicy. Those kinds of chilis appeal to a smaller percentage of people. Mine is just good, old-fashioned, chili con carne with some special twists. Even kids enjoy my chili!

This chili is so good, you won't need to add any toppings at all; no crackers, no cheese, etc., but if you insist, I promise to get over it.

By the way, if you're avoiding gluten, I've provided substitute ingredients just for you!

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: About 8 big bowlfuls of awesomeness.

Ingredients For Jon's Awesome Chili

  • 2 lbs. of ground beef, (I use grass fed beef [85/15])
  • 3/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • one 30.5 oz. can of Brooks Chili Beans, (see below for gluten-free option)
  • two 15 oz. cans of Contadina Tomato Sauce, (substitute at your own peril!)
  • two 14.5 oz. cans of Red Gold, Diced Tomatoes
  • one 15 oz. can of Luck's Great Northern Beans
  • two packages of French's Chili-O Seasoning, (see below for gluten-free option)
  • 1/3 cup of light brown sugar
  • one tablespoon of ground cumin seed
  • one 15 oz. can of water

How To Prepare Jon's Awesome Chili

  1. Before you get started, make sure you have a large pot with a lid that seals well, a big pan, and a kitchen timer.
A big pot and a big pan!
A big pot and a big pan! | Source
A nice glass of Chardonnay to make things a little more enjoyable.
A nice glass of Chardonnay to make things a little more enjoyable. | Source

2. Prepare your favorite beverage to make the whole process more enjoyable. I'm a fan of Chardonnay.

•Chardonnay is not an ingredient in Jon's Awesome Chili.

The part shown on the left tastes bitter. Don't use it!
The part shown on the left tastes bitter. Don't use it! | Source

3. Chop your onion (make sure not to use the bitter end pieces that are hard and sometimes have a yellowish tinge), then put it in your pan and turn the burner on at about the 5 or 6 heat level.

Let the onions cook under the beef for a few minutes.
Let the onions cook under the beef for a few minutes. | Source

4. Put your 2 lbs. ground beef on top of the onions and let things heat up for a few minutes. It's important to have well-cooked onions, so let them get most of the heat at the start.

Chop it up!
Chop it up! | Source

5. Using a spatula or spoon, start chopping the ground beef, but leave the onions underneath.

If you can't find this size can, use two regular size cans.
If you can't find this size can, use two regular size cans. | Source

6. While the meat and onions are cooking, empty the 30.5 oz. can of Brooks chili beans into your large pot.

•There is wheat in this product, so if you are avoiding gluten, I recommend substituting Bush's Chili Beans - Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce (Mild Sauce).

Yes, there will actually be a small amount of pork in this chili!
Yes, there will actually be a small amount of pork in this chili! | Source

7. Add the can of Luck's Great Northern beans to the pot.

The best.
The best. | Source

8. Put the two cans of Contadina Tomato Sauce in the pot. This sauce is the best, in my opinion. Substitute at your own risk. By the way, Hunt's brand sauce will change the flavor of this chili in a dramatic way. Trust me on this! I tried it, and the results were not good.

They're ready for your chili. It says so on the label. :)
They're ready for your chili. It says so on the label. :) | Source

9. Chop up your ground beef some more and start mixing it in with the onions, then go back to your large pot and add the two cans of Red Gold "Chili Ready" Diced Tomatoes.

This stuff was one of my mother's secret weapons.
This stuff was one of my mother's secret weapons. | Source

10. Add a tablespoon of ground cumin seed to your pot.

Your beverage is running low, it's time to refill!
Your beverage is running low, it's time to refill! | Source

11. Fill one of your empty 15 oz. cans with water and pour it in the pot.

Your beef and onions should look like this now!
Your beef and onions should look like this now! | Source

12. Go back to your pan and chop up your ground beef some more. Make sure it cooks evenly and that the onions are mixed in well.

This ingredient, which is one of my favorites, was suggested by my wife, Denise. What a difference it makes!
This ingredient, which is one of my favorites, was suggested by my wife, Denise. What a difference it makes! | Source

13. Go back to your pot and add a third cup of light brown sugar.

There are lots of good things in this little package.
There are lots of good things in this little package. | Source

14. Add the two packages of French's Chili-O Seasoning to the pot. Ignore the instructions on the back of the package.

•Bonus: There is no MSG in this product!

•There is wheat in this product, so if you want to avoid the gluten, here's what you'll need in lieu of the two Chili-O packages:

2 tbsp. seasoned salt
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 dried chili peppers, crushed, with seeds removed

French's Chili-O Seasoning

At this point, your pot should look like this!
At this point, your pot should look like this! | Source
Let the grease pool to one side, then spoon it out.
Let the grease pool to one side, then spoon it out. | Source

15. Stir your pot, then go back to your pan and mix the beef and onions again, then pile everything to one side of the pan and tilt it to allow the grease to pool.

My lovely grease can.
My lovely grease can. | Source

16. Spoon most of the grease into a metal can. I use an old coffee can, but you can use one of the empty cans from earlier, if you like.

Need A Good Grease Can? (And some pretty good coffee, too!)

Almost there!
Almost there! | Source

17. Carefully add the cooked beef and onions to your pot, then stir.

Make sure the lid seals well on your pot. Turning the temperature down will pull the lid on tighter and keep things cooking nicely. If your lid has a vent, close it.
Make sure the lid seals well on your pot. Turning the temperature down will pull the lid on tighter and keep things cooking nicely. If your lid has a vent, close it. | Source

18. Turn the burner on "High" and stir about every 30 seconds until bubbles start popping up. When they do, keep stirring to make them stop. You'll know it's time to stop stirring when you see bubbles popping up even when you've got the spoon moving. Then, put the lid on the pot and immediately turn the burner all the way down to "1".

Don't lift the lid for 20 minutes!
Don't lift the lid for 20 minutes! | Source

19. Set a timer for 20 minutes, and don't open the lid!

20. When your timer goes off, open the pot and stir. Congratulations! You now have a pot of Jon's Awesome Chili! You're gonna love this stuff!

Classic Mechanical Kitchen Timer

Lux Classic Timer, White
Lux Classic Timer, White

Available in nine--count 'em--nine colors!

 

This Stuff's Great With My Awesome Chili!

ZICO Premium Coconut Water, Chocolate, 14 fl oz (Pack of 12)
ZICO Premium Coconut Water, Chocolate, 14 fl oz (Pack of 12)

Coconut water is very good for you and this kind has chocolate flavoring! Yes, as you can see in the first photo up above, I drink chocolate ZICO with my chili!

 

Comments

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    • jonnicholas profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Nicholas 

      2 years ago from Lexington, Ky. USA

      Thank you, Jeremy! I have corrected the step numbers. :)

    • profile image

      Jeremy Brann 

      2 years ago

      There are two step 13s, and when I printed this, they were split across two pages. I am easily confused, and this confused me. Much like when I assemble furniture at home and end up with an extra nut that seems important, in this case I ended up with a quarter cup of brown sugar that had not been added. I added it at the end, and I believe the flavor was unaffected. My first batch of Jon's awesome chili has turned out awesome!

    • jonnicholas profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Nicholas 

      2 years ago from Lexington, Ky. USA

      Joyce, I understand your need to tweak. My wife suffers from the same condition, bless her heart.

    • profile image

      Joyce Feltz 

      2 years ago

      I love that you shared your award winning chili recipe, and I tried desperately to replicate it. Alas, I always have to 'tweak' things a bit. So, I cooked up about 1 1/2 lbs of freshly ground beef atop the red onions, added about 1/2 lb of chunked venison, and instead of the brown sugar, I mixed in about 1/2 cup of Baby Ray's barbecue sauce. Otherwise, I followed your recipe to a T. But, oh yeah, I sauteed some green peppers and added them in. So, my review is tainted by my modifications....but this chili sure is good!

    • jonnicholas profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Nicholas 

      4 years ago from Lexington, Ky. USA

      Thank you! And, thanks for the MSG update! I'll add that to the article soon. :)

    • Lizolivia profile image

      Lizolivia 

      4 years ago from Central USA

      I've been looking to vary the way I've always made chili and your recipe seems perfect. The only seasoning mix I've ever liked and usually use is the Frenches original, and now they state no msg on the front as well. Thank you for sharing and taking the time to put this hub together!

    • wiserworld profile image

      wiserworld 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for posting this. Would like to try something similar as a new recipe!

    • jonnicholas profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Nicholas 

      4 years ago from Lexington, Ky. USA

      I've had a great run with this recipe! I'm not getting any younger, and I wanted to let others enjoy it!

    • Daddy Paul profile image

      Daddy Paul 

      4 years ago from Michigan

      You have not lost a single cook off and you are telling the world?

      It looks great.

    • fivesenses profile image

      Leena 

      4 years ago from new delhi

      Great tips and illustration work...looks yummy!

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