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No Name Chili

Christmas Leftover Chili began by assessing the leftovers in the fridge.  Here’s a quick run down of what we found.

  • A hunk of Prime Rib leftover from Christmas Eve dinner.
  • 1/2 lb. of ground beef & 1/2 lb. ground pork leftover from Swedish Meatballs Christmas Day.
  • An open jar of Rao’s Marinara sauce that was served with our Risotto Balls on Christmas Day.
  • A bottle of Victoria beer leftover from my company Christmas Party.
  • A Cowboy Cut Ribeye Bone leftover from B’s Christmas present :)

Our Chili started by frying bacon in the cast iron skillet.  No surprise to those that know us ;)

I assumed my role as sous chef, and knifed and diced up two onions, 5 jalapenos, and a big hunk of prime rib leftover from Christmas Eve dinner.  From this point I will give you the process I witnessed.  I have enjoyed the finished product and believe me…it is worth a recipe recap.

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Remove browned bacon from the cast iron skillet, then add in diced onion and jalapenos.  Saute until just tender then transfer to a large crockpot.  Now add 1/2 lb. of ground pork and 1/2 lb. of ground beef to the skillet to brown off. Now add this to the crockpot along with the cubed beef and crispy bacon.  Deglaze pan with a beer.  We used a bottle of Victoria (thank you Rogelio for the tip on this beautiful beer).  Add that to the crockpot.  Then came a can of diced tomatoes (preferably no-salt added) and about 2 cups of tomato sauce (Rao’s Marinara Sauce is to die for).

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Seasoning is a tricky thing to recreate since B never measures.  I’m giving you my best assessment of the volume of spice that went into our Christmas Leftover Chili, adjust according to taste preference.  Here we go:

  • 1 Tbl. chili powder
  • 1 Tbl. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

This is when we threw in the rib bone from our Cowboy Cut Ribeye enjoyed on Friday night.  Totally optional.

Once all the goodness was in the crockpot we set it to low and walked away.  Not too far away.  I believe crockpot cooking is meant to happen on week days, when no one is home.  Rule #1 ~ Don’t lift the lid.  Let me tell you that was nearly impossible as the aromas of this rich beefy chili seeped into the air.  That’s when we decided to turn it to high and move dinner time up an hour or two.

I’m convinced that in our house, the best dishes happen when I stay out of the grocery store and instead shop my fridge & pantry. I hope you’ll adapt and personalize this recipe and then share the results with us.

I’m also quite proud to share that Christmas Leftover Chili is the 500th Recipe posted to Lemony Thyme.  Hehe.

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Christmas Leftover Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 5 jalapenos, fine diced
  • ½ lb. ground beef
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1 lb. cubed beef roast or steak, cooked and cubed
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbl. chili powder
  • 1 Tbl. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. ground thyme
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Optional ingredients and toppings...
  • 1 15.5-ounce can red kidney bean, drained and rinsed
  • fresh cilantro
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • sliced avocado
  1. Browned bacon in cast iron skillet until crispy; remove. Add diced onion and jalapenos to skillet, saute until just tender then transfer to a large crockpot.
  2. Now add ½ lb. of ground pork and ½ lb. of ground beef to the skillet to brown off; add this to the crockpot along with cubed beef and crispy bacon. Deglaze pan with a beer and add to the crockpot.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and seasoning; stir well.
  4. Set crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. If using kidney beans, add 1 hour before serving.
  5. Optional garnishes; shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado



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