Lola Cooks: Chili

... Hokie chili, that is.  Every family has their own favorite chili recipe.  This is ours.  It has affectionately become known as Hokie Chili.  I am not sure if it is due to the maroon and orange colors from the ingredients, the fact that we often eat it during the fall and college football, or the fact that my wife graduated from Virginia Tech and we need some reminder of home.  Nonetheless, we named it Hokie Chili and it has stuck.


It first got its name in a chili cook-off that we entered many years ago.  We were robbed lost.  The judges could not see past the vegetables although we were the crowd favorite.  It might have been the fact that we brought our VT marketing materials with us to set our booth apart.  In hindsight, that might have been a mistake in a city filled with Texas college football fans.

Football aside, here you will find the wonderful and somewhat spicy flavors of traditional chili with just a hint of vegetable soup.  As it simmers, it will thicken to a level that is unmistakably chili.  It is perfect for a chilly fall day served with cheese, or sour cream, or corn bread... and football.

savour... first and ten

Get the rest after the jump...



Before you start:

While the maroon of the dark kidney beans add the right color to the Hokie Chili, you could substitute one of the cans of kidneys for another variety of bean that you like.

If this seems too spicy for you, I would start by omitting the jalapenos.

Take care when cutting jalapenos.  The heat will stay on your fingers long after you are done cutting.  You may want to wear a pair of disposable gloves.

You could absolutely cook this longer than 4 hours.  Ours simmers all day sometimes.  Be sure to add water if it becomes too thick.  Easy does it, though. 

The ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 medium carrots thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 celery ribs split down center and diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 cans (15-16 oz) kidney beans
  • 3 cans (28 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 jalapenos sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 or 5 dashes hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • More salt and pepper to taste

The method:

  1. Prepare all of the vegetables.
  2. In a hot soup pot, heat olive oil.
  3. Add onion and reduce heat to medium.
  4. Cook onion until soft and slightly translucent (5-7 minutes).  Stir occasionally.
  5. Add ground beef, salt and pepper. Cook over medium high until browned stirring frequently.
  6. Add carrots and celery, chili powder, cayenne, and hot sauce.
  7. Add beans, tomatoes, chopped jalapenos, and water.
  8. Bring to a boil and leave there for about 10 minutes.
  9. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for several hours (at least 4).
  10. Serve hot with rice or corn bread.