A few weeks ago I helped with a chili cook-off at church. I’m not a big chili fan, so the thought of bringing a pot of chili was a bit scary. I went on a search for great chili recipes and one of my readers who follows me on twitter saw my request. Judy emailed me this recipe for Mel’s Diner Chili.
I didn’t end up having to take the chili to the cook-off because lots of other people signed up (I took the Chipotle Apple Pecan Cake instead). But since I had the ingredients and because the chili has such a great story – and I’m a sucker for a great story – I made the chili for dinner at home. Yum!
Here’s Judy’s email with the original recipe and the story:
Hi Tiffany,You tweeted that you wanted an award-winning chili recipe. My favorite chili recipe isn’t award-winning, but it’s famous. It’s Mel’s Chili, from the show “Alice”. My mom got the recipe when the actor who played Mel Sharples, Vic Tayback, was on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” way back when. Here it is:MEL’S CHILI2 lb ground beef1 onion, chopped2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste6 tomato paste cans water1 clove garlic, mincedsalt (I use1 tsp.)1 tsp. pepper1 large can kidney beans, drained and rinsed2 pkg. chili seasoning mixSimmer for two hours. Add beans. Heat 15 minutes.
Serving size: 6-8
- 2 lbs ground beef (I used 1 lb. pork sausage + 1 lb. ground beef)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cans tomato paste (6 oz cans)
- 6 tomato paste cans of water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 packs low-sodium chili seasoning mix
- 1 can Fire Roasted tomatoes, undrained (Judy’s addition)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Brown the beef, onion and garlic. Drain and rinse under hot water.
- Add all the other ingredients.
- Simmer for a few hours or toss it in the crockpot and cook it on low for 5 or 6 hours. I didn’t have much time, so mine only cooked 45 minutes or so. It was still yummy.