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Fast & Easy Chili

Serves: 3 bowls

Storage Life of Ingredients: 1 Year

This recipe came from my Uncle Ned and my mom who grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Serve it up with buttered and baked, homemade tortillas or cornbread.

Whenever my uncle came to visit, he always made us a big pot of chili, or stacked enchiladas. He learned to make them while living in Santa Fe.

Pictured Process

My mother always made chili with the whole tomatoes. She cut them up a little bit in the pan with a wooden spoon. I don't care for chunks of tomatoes in my chili, so I blend them into a juice in my blender.

My mother always made her chili with hamburger meat. Brown the meat and drain the fat. For food storage, you can bottle hamburger meat, but the texture is very fine. I prefer to use the bottled roast beef. Drain the meat. Combine the tomatoes, chili beans, chili powder, salt, garlic salt, and pepper in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes to blend the flavors. Add more spices to your liking. My mother always served them with buttered, baked tortillas. We dipped them in the chili. So good!

Serve with corn bread or flour tortillas.

Using the 15 oz. cans of tomatoes and chili beans, this recipe will serve 3. If you change out the tomatoes and chili beans for the large cans, it will serve 6 without adding any extra meat.

Storage Tips

Canned Beef: I can my own beef or use the Costco cans. If you can your own meat, make sure you check the seal before storing in your pantry. Always check to see that it smells and looks as it should when you open a bottle. The USDA states that home-canned products should be used within 1 year. My canned beef is so convenient to use that it never lasts a year. The Costco beef has a storage shelf life of 1 year. Check the "best by" date on the back of the can since you do not know how long it has been sitting on the store shelves.

Hamburger: Store hamburger meat in vacuum sealed bags in the freezer. This will give it a storage life of at least 1 year.

Whole Tomatoes: The USDA states cans of whole tomatoes have a shelf life of 18 months if they are stored in cool, dry conditions. Always check for bulging, rust, or very dented cans and do not use if these signs are present.

Chili Beans: The USDA states low acid canned foods can last for 2-5 years if stored in cool, dry conditions. Always check for bulging, rust, or very dented cans, and do not use if these signs are present.

Chili Powder: Chili powder is best when kept for 1-2 years. After that, it will lose some of its flavor.

Salt: Table salt will last for 5 years.

Pepper: Ground pepper has a shelf life of 2 years. Peppercorns keep their quality for 3-4 years.

Garlic Salt: Garlic salt has a shelf life of 2-3 years. After that, it will begin to lose flavor.

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