Beef Dishes

Al’s Famous Chili


This is Al’s Famous Chili- it’s so ‘famous’ that it’s survived more than 50 years in the family! “Who’s Al?”, you might be asking. Well, Al is my brother who passed away in 2001 at the age of 57.

Al was a real adventurer- he liked to fly his Cessna airplane down into Baja, California- places so remote there were just dirt tracks for a landing field and the term ‘air traffic controller’ didn’t even exist in the local language. Al also liked to scuba dive in Truk Lagoon in the Pacific Ocean, exploring the eerie graveyard of World War II sunken ships and occasionally salvaging a few old bottles.


Al also had a sense of humor- you never knew when he would sneak a Whoopee Cushion under you as you started to sit down.

And Al, of course, was known for his famous chili. When he and his wife, Diane, were newly-weds, they bought a Crockpot (one of those old round things that are now considered ‘vintage’). A little recipe book came with it, including the recipe for Chili Con Carne. Al decided to try the recipe and the rest is history- his famous chili continues to be served over 50 years later- in fact we had some several days ago during the 2016 Super Bowl.

The recipe is so simple I don’t even need to add any extra tips or explanations- except that the recipe works best in a slow cooker, but could also be put together on the stovetop in less than 30 minutes, if you’re in a hurry.

Here is a photocopy of the page from the little recipe book from over 50 years ago- the page is a little dog-eared and yellowed now, but the recipe is still going strong and still brings to life the memory of Al- we will never forget him!

Al's recipe cropped jpeg


Al's Famous Chili
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
4 hr
  1. ¼ cup olive oil
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 1 green pepper, chopped
  4. 1 pound ground beef
  5. 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
  6. ¼ cup catsup
  7. ¼ cup chili sauce
  8. ¼ cup water
  9. Salt to taste
  10. ¼ tsp paprika
  11. ¼ tsp tsp cayenne
  12. 1 tbsp chili powder
  13. 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  14. 1 can pinto beans, drained
  15. 1 can red kidney beans, drained
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté onion, green pepper and meat. Pour off excess fat and place in the Crock Pot with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook for 4-6 hours at Low Heat. If beans are desired, add to the uncooked mixture.
G'day Soufflé

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  • Joanne T Ferguson
    February 12, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Nothing like a great memory behind a recipe! Looks delicious Fran!

    • Fran
      February 12, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Thanks so much, Joanne. I got a little emotional as I was putting together this post.
      Fran recently posted…Al’s Famous ChiliMy Profile

  • Lynn @ Oh-So Yummy
    February 12, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    those are all ingredients I already have, but what is “chili sauce”? a strange ingredient when you are makin’ chili… 🙂
    Lynn @ Oh-So Yummy recently posted…Grand Ole BBQ Y AsadaMy Profile

    • Fran
      February 12, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Lynn, Chili Sauce is a standard ingredient sold in supermarkets. It usually consists of a tomato base with some added chili and onion flavorings. It just helps to round out the flavorings of your chili. Sriracha sauce is a type of hotter chili sauce.
      Fran recently posted…Al’s Famous ChiliMy Profile

  • Mark
    February 12, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I remember well coming home to the wonderful smell of that chili. Very touching and I’ll be making a batch of that this weekend. Thanks for sharing Fran. ????

    • Fran
      February 14, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Glad to hear that your dad’s chili is still going strong after all these years!
      Fran recently posted…Al’s Famous ChiliMy Profile

  • Mark F
    February 12, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Touching Fran, thanks for sharing. Coming home to that smell was always heavenly.

  • John/Kitchen Riffs
    February 12, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    This recipe deserves to be famous! Enjoyed reading about Al — thanks for sharing that with us. And the recipe for his famous chili, of course. 🙂
    John/Kitchen Riffs recently posted…Duck, Lentil, and Kale SoupMy Profile

  • Karen (Back Road Journal)
    February 13, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Good things always stand the test of time…isn’t it nice that you still get to enjoy your brother’s chili after all these years.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted…Spaghetti CarbonaraMy Profile

  • Melanie @ Melanie Cooks
    February 13, 2016 at 7:11 am

    What a great memory Al left with this recipe that lives on! This chili looks delicious!
    Melanie @ Melanie Cooks recently posted…Crispy Oven-Baked Breaded Fish Recipe – No Frying Needed!My Profile

  • Sarah
    February 17, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    That chilli looks totally delicious and comforting! Thank-you for sharing the recipe.

    Your brother sounds like he was a really fun person 🙂