Texas Chuckwagon Chili

"This came from what most likely is the strangest cookbook purchase I've ever made--attached to a carton of Marlborough cigarettes, sometime in the 1970's, I think it was. CHUCKWAGON COOKING FROM MARLBORO COUNTRY. I bought the carton of cigarettes (I'm a NON-SMOKER) just to get the recipes! When I prepare this chili for my family, we serve it with crackers, Fritos, green and black olives, slices of apples and cheese."
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Ready In:
2hrs 45mins




  • Brown meat in a large skillet or Dutch oven.
  • Add seasonings and water.
  • Heat to boiling.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
  • Skim off fat.
  • Stir in cornmeal, uncover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Serve with pinto beans and cornbread(you may even add 2 15 oz. cans drained and rinsed pinto or kidney beans, if you wish. It adds 4 servings to the quantity given below.).
  • This tastes even better the next day! Leftovers can be used to make chili dogs; or place on a plate a layer of Tostitos, a layer of chili, then layer the following for a delicious, quick dinner salad: lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, chopped tomatoes. Serve with dollop of sour cream and picante sauce on the side.

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I'm an organic gardener--to say I'm middle-aged would be a stretch--I've been gardening for 52 years, mostly in the midwest. I still can most everything we eat. As my Dad used to say, "she'll can anything that'll hold still long enough"!! Sure saves time when company--or family--drop in. I've been cooking all that time, too. I come from a large farm family (1 brother, 5 sisters) and have 2 sons and 4 daughters; AND 10 grandchildren. Many of our family's memories involve food. All the important events are celebrated with a special menu; but as these things usually go, it's the disasters that make lasting memories! We'll be laughing at those long after the really impressive soirees have been forgotten. The women of our group have adopted a saying that "we don't name a dish till after it's cooked. Whatever it looks like, that's what it is!" Keeps the mood light, and even the novice cooks are more adventuresome, knowing that we don't take disasters seriously. On the other side of the coin: years ago, I had a tea room/restaurant called The Market Fare, that was written up in the book THE BEST COUNTRY CAFES IN TEXAS, a gastronomique guidebook by Texas Geographic. The women of our family can usually find our way around a kitchen!! For each of my children, as they left home, I created a cookbook of their favorite foods--still in use by them these many years later. In nearly every culture, family and food go hand-in-hand in creating those special memories. Man may be the HEAD of the home, but woman is its HEART!!
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