In a bygone era when I was far too young to know what Playboy Magazine was, someone in the family scored this chili recipe. Mom hand wrote the original recipe (the scan is below) so the magazine owner must have dictated it to her. I nominate my Dad or my older brother Tim.
So after returning home after a long September Saturday of shopping for new Halloween graveyard additions, Joe and I decided that despite it being 90 degrees there was no better way to kick-off fall in Texas than with a bowl of chili. So into Mom’s cookbook my fingers strolled until they landed on this ol’ recipe. There’s no telling when this chili was last made but I can tell from the yellowed, stained paper that this recipe was used more than a few times.
While this Playboy Chili recipe isn’t my tried, true and award-winning Kiker’s Kicker Pot Licker Chili, it packed a lotta punch.
❤ Some people just see a chili recipe. I see a recipe that’s a glorious gateway to the belly! You can put chili on more than just a spoon – try it on nachos, chili baked potatoes or what’s better than chili and eggs? Not much! I can picture my Dad enjoying chili and eggs right this very minute with eyes as wide as dinner plates and a smile bigger than Texas.
If you decide to make chili baked potatoes (I wildly recommend), don’t just microwave the potato – that’s far too easy. Take a delicious tip from this blue cheese bacon potato recipe – slather the potatoes with shortening, wrap ’em in foil, and bake ’em in the oven for about an hour. The end result? The softest, most delicious baked potato you’re likely to encounter! After all a baked potato is just that – otherwise we should call them nuked potatoes!
❤ Important Lesson: Not since I learned why bagged grated cheese is inferior to freshly grated cheese (goodbye, wood pulp) have I realized that when making chili, plain ol’ ground beef is inferior to coarse ground beef. Why? I find that the typical ground beef often breaks down into more of a grainy mush than a hearty, bold consistency which is a chunky must when beef is the featured ingredient like when in a bowl of chili. Sadly my local grocery stores were out of coarse ground chili beef, so I resorted to the mundane. Note: You can ask your butcher to prepare it fresh for you.
❤ The typical sidekicks for the Kiker family bowl of chili include shredded cheddar cheese, Nabisco saltine crackers, corn bread, Fritos, sour cream and chopped green onions (to name a few).
Total prep: About 90 minutes.
2 pounds | coarse ground chili beef
½ cup (or less) | olive oil
1 cup | white onion, minced (Mom would likely chop or dice)
1 tablespoon | fresh garlic, minced (I used 5 cloves)
1 large | green bell pepper, minced (or chopped/diced)
1 large | bay leaf (I used 2)
1 teaspoon | oregano
3 tablespoons | chili powder
1 teaspoon | cumin
¼ teaspoon | cayenne
½ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon (or to taste) | kosher salt
1 tablespoon | paprika
½ teaspoon | red pepper flakes (aka crushed red pepper)
3 tablespoons | flour
1 ½ quart | beef stock
2 teaspoons | sugar
¼ cup (about 10) | cracker crumbs
1 cup | pinto beans, drained
to serve | your favorite sidekicks (see suggested ideas above)
iii. What To Do
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the meat in the olive oil.
2. Add the onions, garlic, green pepper, bay leaves, oregano, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, pepper, kosher salt, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Whew!
3. Stir things well and sauté, covered, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the flour; blend well. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
Note: I noticed at this stage the chili was a little too oily for my liking which is why I think you can totally dial back on the olive oil (noted above).
5. Stir in the sugar, cracker crumbs and the drained beans. Simmer 10 minutes longer.
6. Serve with your favorite sides/toppings.
Leftovers store well in the fridge or they may be frozen for impromptu meals when that cold front blows in and you’re in a flurry for some chili.
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Ever since watching the 1989 hit When Harry Met Sally I can’t see the word “paprika” without thinking of the funny paprikash scene. “Paprikash” is a popular Hungarian paprika chicken dish. Enjoy the clip!
I often enjoy my corn bread alongside a piping hot bowl of chili.
This recipe cuts to the chase by adding chili con carne to the corn bread mix – it’s the perfect mashup of these two food groups essential for any Texan!
Perhaps the secret weapon in this recipe is that of good ol’ Tabasco. Mom always had a bottle of it in our kitchen pantry and she had a love for the spicy that was passed on to my tastebuds!
Love Tobasco, too? While your cornbread is baking why not check out some of the vintage ads I included below that celebrate the spicy good stuff!
❤ Don’t do what I did – make sure and add the parsley flakes to the batter before baking! #Doh!
❤ While I’m sure Mom used curly-leafed parsley, I’m a devoted lover of Italian flat leaf parsley. It’s a texture thing for me but this post credits the Italian variety with being more flavorful.
Total prep: Less than an hour.
8 ounce box | corn bread mix
1 teaspoon | tabasco pepper sauce
1 tablespoon | parsley, chopped
1 ~ 15 ounce can | chili con carne
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium-sized bowl prepare the cornbread per the box directions.
3. Add the Tobasco, parsley, and the chili. Mix everything until well blended.
4. Pour the chili batter into a greased 8″ x 8″ baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. I had to bake my cornbread for a tad longer than 25 minutes – it may have had something to do with my Texas-shaped baking dish (Central Texas took a little longer to bake).
Serve Warm: With fried chicken, pork chops, meat loaf… or just because. I like my cornbread on top of chili ‘n cheese, please!
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook