Updated Friday, August 31st, 2007
Yield: Serves 8
This chili beef dish is not, of course, of New England origin, but it is so useful and economical (not to mention the fact that it is best prepared a day before it is used) that it has long ago been adopted by New Englanders. It is a favorite dish for church suppers and other gatherings. Good for young people especially.
Rinse the beans and soak them overnight in water to cover. Next day cook them in new water and 1 tablespoon of salt until almost soft. At the same time brown the onions and the meat in oil in a very large skillet. Combine the beans, the water that is left from their cooking, the meat and onions, scraping the pan in which they were cooked, and all of the other ingredients, in a large pot. Cover it tightly and simmer over lowest heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. Taste for seasoning. If you like a very hot chili, you may wish to add more of the chili seasonings or add dried red pepper flakes. Serve in bowls with saltines which have been crisped in the oven. Left-over chili may dry out a little the next day. In this case, a can of tomato soup may be added to the sauce.
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