Meaty, No-Bean Chili

chili in a pottery bowl with tortilla chips on the side
Meaty, No-Bean Chili

My husband doesn’t like beans. No problem with this chili recipe:

1 pound lean, coarse ground beef
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small rib celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 14.5 oz. can beef broth
1 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 small can (4.5 oz.) green chilis
2 T tomato paste (opt)
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro

1. Cook ground beef loosely in skillet until browned. Pour off excess fat if there is any. While the ground beef is cooking, Heat your chili pot or soup kettle over medium high heat, add olive oil, and saute’ the chopped onion and celery, adding the garlic last.
2. Simmer, then add cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion flakes and dried oregano. Add beef broth, stewed tomatoes and green chilis.
3. Add ground beef and simmer 20 minutes. Simmer another 30-40 minutes.
4. Add the chopped cilantro about 10 minutes before serving to keep the flavor fresh.


For New Year’s Day: Armadillo Turkey

a turkey with pineapple skin covering the breast
The ultimate party presentation: Armadillo Turkey

ARMADILLO TURKEY: Do it for New Year’s Day or Super Bowl Sunday

All you need do, is carefully carve the skin from one fresh pineapple, about 1/2 inch thick. Save the flesh for another purpose. You will have 4-6 pieces (try to keep them as large as you can). Prepare and truss your bird for roasting as you usually would.

Carefully cover the breast area with the pineapple skin pieces, skewering them into place with toothpicks or small metal skewers. You will have cracks between the pieces, that’s okay. The spaces can be filled in later with parsley and kale as you can see in the photo.

Roast the turkey according to the instructions. The pineapple will baste the breast and give it a tropical flavor.

When done, let the turkey rest 30 minutes, then garnish by surrounding the bird in curly kale (or use your imagination). I found parsley was perfect for tucking into the cracks between the pineapple pieces on the breast. Don’t skip the presentation, the look on the faces of your guests will be worth the extra effort.

How to Brine a Turkey

turkey in brine
Brining will make your turkey more moist and flavorful.

1 – 13-18 LB fresh turkey
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
Zest of 2 lemons
Handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves, crumpled
1-1/2 to 2 gallons water

roasted turkey
Roast brined turkey in your favorite manner

You will need a large non-reactive pot big enough for your turkey and the brine. Mix the water (start with 1-1/2 gallons and add the other ingredients. Stir until salt and sugar dissolves. Place cleaned and rinsed turkey into the brine, adding the rest of the water to cover. Place in a cool spot for 8-12 hours before roasting in your favorite manner. (I like to finish the turkey in my Nesco Roast-Air convection roaster oven.)

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

pork sandwich in a bun with salad on the side
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches


3-6 lbs. pork (country ribs with/without bone)
1 can (14 oz.) beef broth (not condensed)
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons bottled BBQ Sauce (your favorite)
4 pretzel buns

Rinse & dry off pork with a paper towel. Dredge in flour and brown in a large skillet, turning to brown all sides. Add onion, cook for a few minutes and add broth to deglaze pan. Place the pork, broth, and onions in a 6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-4 hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Remove pork from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Discard fat/bone/gristle and pour off excess broth (reserve for another use).
Return the meat and onions to the slow cooker and add the BBQ sauce of your choice. You want the meat mixture to be juicy and flavored to your liking. In our house, we like a very light barbeque flavor, but if you prefer more, simply pour off a little more of the broth and add more BBQ sauce.

Heat to serving temp and serve on pretzel rolls. The meat is juicy, you need a bun with substance. Plain white bread buns will get soggy too quickly.