Tina Chili

8 Feb

My mom makes the best chili. Well, she makes the best pretty much any food you can name, but her chili is especially good. I know lots of people love really spicy chili, but I’m not a person who believes that chili making should actually be a process of developing new and interesting ways to set people’s mouths on fire and ensure they don’t taste things right for at least a week. I like a little bit of kick, but let’s keep it to a reasonable level people. If I have to sign a waiver before I eat your food, IT’S TOO SPICY.

Turning into a fire breathing dragon is not my idea of fun.

Turning into a fire breathing dragon is not my idea of fun.


  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • Dash Cayenne Pepper
  • 2-3 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • 4 (16 ounce) Cans Black Beans
  • 2 (16 ounce) Cans Mexican-Style Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 Cup Water

There are two ways of making this chili. The first is the classic Tina method, which takes a lot more work, but is totally worth it. The second is the lazy Sydney method, which involves a crock pot and very little work on your part, but takes a lot more time (since it’s in the slow cooker).

The Tina Method:


  1. Chop Peppers & Onions and mince Garlic (set aside)
  2. Open both cans of Mexican-Style Stewed Tomatoes. Put into Food Processor and Puree. (set aside)
  3. Open Can of Tomato Paste. Put into Food Processor. Add with one cup of water and Puree. (set aside)
  4. Brown Ground Beef in 2 Tablespoons Oil. Partially Drain. I add a little of the oil from the browned ground beef to my chili for flavor. (set aside)


  1. Melt 4 Tablespoons Butter in a large dutch oven (Pot).
  2. Add chopped Bell Peppers and Onions and sauté until tender – about 10 minutes.
  3. Add minced Garlic, Salt, Oregano, Chili Powder, Cumin, Crushed Red Pepper, and a Dash of Cayenne Pepper. Stir all together.
  4. Stir in Ground Beef.
  5. Add Black Beans, Stewed Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste.
  6. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes. Stirring Occasionally.
  7. Serve with a good crusty bread ( like a bread bowl if you can find one), some cheddar cheese, or spaghetti noodles.

Notes from Tina:

  • The first time you make it, don’t substitute any thing. You can substitute and adjust the recipe after you’ve tried it this way at least once. Like substituting Cooked, Cubed Chicken for the Ground Beef or Salsa instead of the Stewed Tomatoes. You may even want to cut back on the Crushed Red Pepper or Cayenne
  • You may find that when it’s about done you may need to adjust your seasonings as per your taste like add more cumin and chili powder. You’ll have to play with it til you get it the way that suits you. Sometimes it’s just perfectly fine. Figure out what works for you.
  • If it isn’t thick enough for you mix a little water with flour and pour into the chili, stirring constantly til thick. (Rule: Never pour flour into a hot liquid as it will clump instead of mixing) FYI: Mesa Flour is generally used to thicken chili but white all purpose flour is fine also. And again, you may not need to thicken it. Depends on personal taste.
Bread, chili, cheese... what more could you possibly ask for??

Bread, chili, cheese… what more could you possibly ask for??

The Sydney Method:


  1. Chop Peppers & Onions and mince Garlic (or buy the stuff that’s already done for you)
  2. Brown ground beef and partially drain.
  3. Open Can of Tomato Paste. Put into Food Processor. Add with one cup of water and puree



  1. Put all ingredients in crockpot. Stir together.
  2. Put crockpot on low and cook for ~8 hours.
  3. Enjoy with sour cream, good crusty bread, and/or shredded cheddar cheese (or on its own if you’re looking for a low carb dinner option)


  • I usually do 2 cans of black beans and 2 cans of either kidney or pinto beans for a little variety. 
  • Once, I didn’t have tomato paste and used a can of refried beans instead. It worked great.
  • That same time, I also didn’t have a plain can of tomato sauce, so I used marinara sauce instead, and it was fine.
Basically I'm obsessed with chili.

Basically I’m obsessed with chili.

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