"Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements."--Marcel Boulestin

Sharon's Award-Winning All Meat Chili Recipe

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This recipe for Sharon's Award-Winning All Meat Chili, by , is from The Ruff Family Cookbook, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Sharon Richter


INGREDIENTS for a party-sized batch
• 5 to 7 meats, mostly of your choice, quantities also your choice. The only required ones are ground beef, bacon, and pepperoni. Here is one idea for meats, (all the cubing can be largish chunks):
• At least 1 lb of ground beef
• ½-1 lb bacon, cut into 2 inch squares
• One small package, or goodly portion of a larger package of sliced pepperoni (pref. thick sliced)
• ½-1 lb cheap steak, cubed
• One or two boneless chicken breasts (or 2-4 boneless thighs), cubed (or pork chops)
• ½-1 lb spicy Italian sausage, cubed.
• ½-1 lb ground lamb, or ground pork, or ground venison, or ground bison (ground turkey, if you must--but be real--this is not health food)
• One to two T whole cumin
• Hella lot of garlic, chopped coarsely
• 1-2 large onions, chopped coarsely
• 1-2 large cans tomato puree sauce (have a couple small cans more on hand if needed)
• 1 large can diced or whole tomatoes, chopped up using scissors—I like the whole tomatoes cuz chunks are larger and the seeds haven’t been removed. Tomato seeds are good.
• 1-2 sliced jalapenos
• - Either - the ingredients of two ready-made brown bag chili packs (Carroll Shelby brand, or Brown Bag brand, or 2 Alarm brand in a box are good), leaving out the salt and cornstarch parts until you decide toward the end if you want or need them)
-- If I use these packs, I sometimes add cayenne to make it spicier.
• - Or - approximately (adjust to the spiciness you want)
-- 4 T chili powder
-- 2 t ground cumin
-- 2 t oregano
-- 1/2 t cayenne pepper
-- Salt as desired
• Cut acidity with sour cream, yogurt, milk, cream, cottage cheese, or other cheese, added at the reheating stage.

1. In large skillet or large cast iron pot, brown bacon, ground meats, steak, sausage, garlic, onions, and cumin over medium heat. Drain off some excess fat (trying not to drain off cumin and garlic, and truthfully, I leave quite a bit of grease). If too much cumin gets drained out, add some more in. Whole cumin is a crucial ingredient.

2. Transfer to big pot or to crock pot (you may need more than one) with all the remaining ingredients and meats (chicken, pepperoni) thrown in.

3. Bring everything to a boil, stirring frequently, reduce heat to very low and simmer for couple of hours or so (until the steak is tender), or put it all in the crock pot and cook it on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Chill for a day and reheat when you are ready. The chilling and reheating is kind of important--it does something nice for the flavors. When you reheat it you should cut acidity by adding sour cream or plain yogurt or milk or cream or cottage cheese. Do this by taste testing. If too thick. you can add tomato sauce or stock to thin. If too thin, you can add tomato paste, sour cream, and/or corn starch to thicken.

Serve with sides of sour cream, grated cheese, and more sliced jalapenos.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
Prepare 1 day ahead
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
This is an adaptation of a chili recipe that my Grandpa Mead developed, which he called a "chili brick." He would make a large batch and put it in cake pans or pie tins or large shallow casserole dishes to cool, which made it semi-solid. Then he would cut it into serving size squares, or "bricks," and wrap them well and freeze them to be used whenever.

As I said before, this is not health food. It is a low-carb-lover's dream, but many will find the quantity of meat and fat off-putting. But for a big party, it is the best! Everyone will love it. This recipe won the "Best Damn Chili" award at a Dickinson College chili cook-off.

Remember, the crucial ingredients are whole cumin, bacon, pepperoni, and ground beef. Pretty much everything else can be fiddled with (e.g., my grandpa used to frequently use tomato soup instead of tomato sauce). Be sure to adjust the spiciness and acidity to your liking.




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