Fall’s Best Chili

Source:  Me about 2000

Chili with toppings
Chili with toppings

Chili (or Fall’s best chili) is a long standing tradition in the U.S. usually on or around the time of Fall and Halloween. It turns out that Texas, “the lone star state” is entirely responsible for this lovely, generous meal consisting of beans, meat and lots of spices. Not only is chili the official main dish of Texas, but the popularity of chili has made it to the European part of the world too…and not just on my account. Yes, alas, we can be thankful for Texas, as even our lovely liberal state of California embraces this southern dish. In my little world, I would find myself going to chili parties during the Halloween season. The spicier, the better! The chili fest became even more about the chili toppers. Corn chip dippers, cheddar cheese, sour cream, black olives, and the list goes on.

Make two pots!

With Chili, two pots are better than one! I usually make 2 large stock pots of chili. In one pot is chili with pork, and the other is chili with beef. Additionally, one is more mild, while the other is very spicy. Always cooked with generous amounts of spices and herbs, and remember, it’s a dish that brings us all together and reminds us how much we love this time of year. (and maybe even Texas!)

Fall’s Best Chili

Toppers matter here. Get some options flowing, because it’s not chili without the toppers.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Meats
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Servings 10 people


  • 2 to 3 lbs ground meat for pork chili, 2-3 lbs of pork italian sausage, or ground pork
  • 4 to 5 cups cooked beans (pinto, kidny, black) soak beans night before
  • 2 large onions diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups bouillon
  • 3 to 4 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 TBS paprika, cumin, and cayenne keep the amounts equal, or use a bit less cayenne if spicy isn’t desired.


  • Begin the night before by soaking your dry beans in a large pot overnight. 
    In the morning, drain and cook beans for 15 minutes in a pressure cooker.  When finished cooking, set aside, leaving the beans soaking in the liquid, and use when ready to add.
    Dice your onions, and garlic and sautee
  • Get your spices selected and ready.  I always work with cumin, paprika and cayenne. 
  • Add the spices, meat (of choice) and tomato paste to the sauteed onions and garlic.  Mix all together and let the meat cook (about 5-10 min). 
  • Next, add your tomatoes and bouillon and cook until it begins to boil.  Keep it on a high to medium cook for a good 15 minutes, then gradually turn the heat down to a low simmer.  Put the lid on, and let the magic begin.  I think the longer you let it simmer, the more the flavors blend, thus creating a rich color, and an unforgettable flavor.  Give it a good 5-6 hours on the lowest temperature, stirring occasionally. 
  • When your chili reaches a nice, dark red color you know it’s ready to serve.   
  • Scoop it in a nice bowl, dress and enjoy.


  • have little bowls set out for everyone to grab and dress with what they want.  I always have:  grated cheddar, sour cream, avocado, frito corn chips, hot spices, diced onions, cilantro, black olives…oh so many possibilities. 
    Chili with toppings
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