Best thing about fall? It’s chili weather

Robin McDaniel
Mosey on over for a fall weather treat with Dan Wood’s Cowpoke Chili.

Photo by Robin McDaniel

Mosey on over for a fall weather treat with Dan Wood’s Cowpoke Chili.

Fall is officially here, and it’s “chili weather.” I have the perfect recipe to celebrate the arrival of our crisp, beautiful fall days: Dan Wood’s Cowpoke Chili.

I have been hearing rave reviews about Dan’s chili since last fall, so I am happy to get to share it with our In the Kitchen readers. Dan had a little surprise for me, however, when I called him to get the ingredients. As I started writing down the quantities, I had to pause and ask Dan just how many he usually cooked for!

Turns out Dan makes his chili for his co-workers at Techmer, so his recipe was for 16 quarts! We worked on it and scaled it down to a 6 to 8 serving recipe.

I always make the food for In the Kitchen and then photograph it. As I dished this chili up, I had to have a taste. Then I took a picture, but had to have another taste. Then I took another picture. Good thing those two pictures were in focus, because I ate the whole bowl.

If you want a topping for your Cowpoke Chili, try traditional cheese and/or sour cream, or branch out and use peppers, diced onions, salsa or guacamole. Dan is traditional and sprinkles some Fritos on top and a side of cornbread.

Thanks, Dan, for this great fall recipe.

Dan Wood’s Cowpoke Chili

2 lbs. ground chuck

1/2 lb. hot or mild sausage

2 pkgs. McCormick chili mix

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon chili powder (or less if desired)

1 can (15 oz. size) pinto beans

1 can (15 oz. size) great northern beans

1 can (15 oz. size) red kidney beans, drained (these were the only beans to be drained)

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 small can Chili Ready Rotel tomatoes

1 small can diced tomatoes

1 small pkg. Hormel Real Bacon Bits (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup water if needed

Cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, optional and added to personal taste

In large pot, brown ground chuck and sausage. Drain. Add onions, bell pepper, chili seasoning mix and chili powder. Simmer about 20 to 30 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes, salt, pepper bacon bits, pepper flakes if using and water. Simmer for about 2 hours.

This is a great dish to prepare in a slow cooker also. Serve with cornbread or saltine crackers.

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