When I was a kid I was a terribly picky eater and I did not like chili. As I have grown up, I started to like new foods, just like my mother said I would. (I really don't like when she is right.) One of those foods happens to be chili. I can remember coming home from school when mom had a pot of sauce simmering down on the stove and thinking it smelled horrible. Now, I love it! It smells like home-cooked comfort food and snuggling up warmly on cold, winter nights.
Our chili is made from homemade sauce. It is a sweet chili and it takes a bit of work to make in the late summer or early fall, but when it gets cold outside it is definitely worth it!
To serve mine, I just add a large can of beans (small red kidney or great northern) and a pound of browned ground beef. Sometimes we eat it over mashed potatoes, but a sprinkling of cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream is a must! My mom makes her chili with diced potatoes, in addition to the beef and beans.
We are very thankful to Aunt Edna for passing down this recipe.
Sweet Chili Sauce
18 large tomatoes
6 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
6 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 lb. dark brown sugar
2 c. white vinegar
1/8 c. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1/2 Tbsp. allspice
Turn the tomatoes into sauce. (I wash and quarter mine, then cook them until soft. I either use a food mill or the Kitchenaid fruit and vegetable strainer to remove the skin and seeds.) Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened (like a spaghetti cause consistency).
I preserve mine by processing it in quart jars in a boiling water canner for 40 minutes. The acidity has not been tested by whoever does that, so if you are concerned you can always freeze the sauce for later use in a freezer-safe container. One quart is used per batch of chili.
To serve, brown one pound of ground beef in a large pot and drain the grease. Add one quart of chili sauce and a 40 oz. can of beans. (Bring to a boil for 5 minutes if using red kidney beans.) Simmer until slightly thickened and serve. (Diced potatoes may also be added and cooked until soft.)
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