CHEF BLOG: Chef Mark's Family Chili Recipe


Chili plate with bread on the sideGrowing up, chili was a meal we often had at home, it was one of the few recipes my dad would cook. Mom and Dad eventually came up with a bit of a rivalry surrounding it. Moms was a little soupier and had a bit of spiced flavour, while dads was thicker, all liquid drained from the canned beans and tomatoes, and lighter on spice as dad didn’t enjoy spices. When I moved out I continued to make my own chili, taking cues from both parents, who cooked without recipes.

At home, chili was always served with buttered toast, which is a great side, but for me, tortilla chips make the best companion.

A lot of recipes for chili will have sour cream, shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, green onion. While those can be great, that’s not what this one is about.

I like to make a big batch, as this gets better as it sits. Make it on Sunday and it could be dinner for the week.

# of servings:

4-8 depending on portion size

Prep Time:

10 minutes

Cook Time:

45 minutes


  • 1 large pot

    1 wooden spoon

    1 can opener

    1 knife & cutting board

    1 stove or burner

Ingredients:Food Ingredients on Counter

  • 200g Bacon
  • 454g Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion (Diced)
  • ¼ Celery (diced)
  • 1 pepper, any colour (diced)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can mixed beans
  • 1 can pork and beans (Not Maple!)
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Salt and pepper


  1. StFood Preparations (Step 1-3)art by slowly rendering out the fat from the bacon. Once enough fat has rendered use that as the “oil” with which to sweat the celery and onion. Don’t be afraid to add a little oil if you didn’t get enough fat rendered.
  2. Step 2Once the vegetables are sweated, add ground beef and cook until done stirring regularly.
  3. Step 3-4Open the canned beans and tomatoes. Drain the tomatoes 70%, drain the beans 70%.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the beans with their reserved liquid.
  5. Step 4-5Season with spices and adjust as necessary.
  6. Continue to simmer until the chili thickens up. Add diced peppers shortly before you’re ready to eat so they cook a bit but retain some crunch.
  7. Eat with toast or tortilla chips.

Any additional notes & tips (i.e. substitutions/swaps)

  • If you want to make it halal, start by adding a bit of oil to sauté your vegetables and beef, and make sure you buy different beans.
  • Any beans can work in this recipe, red kidney beans or black beans work great and are more “traditional” for a chili.
  • Chili gets better as it sits in the fridge. This can be quickly reheated in the microwave for easy meals throughout the week.