I just set out a stack of bowls, a bunch of spoons, maybe rolls or cornbread, a bottle of hot sauce and call ‘er done. I love this method better than having an official “supper time” for several reasons:
- Number one is I don’t have to miss any of the party action because I’ve already done my cooking. I can wash my hands, pour myself a cold one and unwind with my company.
- I also like this because people can eat when they want. Sometimes social gatherings can get too stuffy if everyone’s on a schedule. If you’re hungry, go get you a bowl. If not, it’ll still be there when you’re ready.
- When you cook a one-pot meal like this, you don’t have to make 40-leven side dishes either. Doing it this way says, “Here’s y’all some snacks, supper’s on the stove when you’re ready and if you’re looking for the linen napkins you’re at the wrong house!” It kind of establishes a casual pace for the evening and that’s how I usually like to roll.
- Eating like this is great when there are lots of kids around too. Everything doesn’t come to a screeching halt when I holler “supper’s ready!” and half the adults have to go make plates for the kids.
- When everyone’s eating on their own schedule, you don’t have to worry about seating (or place settings, fixing drinks, etc.). It can be hard accommodating 20 people with a spot at the dinner table.
- This is also great on game day or when you’ve got something going on outside because nobody’s going to miss that big interception or their turn at cornhole because they’re fourteenth in line waiting to fix their plate.
If you can’t find the 15-bean soup mix in your local grocery store, ask for it! My grocery store now carries all sorts of products they didn’t have before simply because I asked for them. Just ask the cashier who to talk to to request a product and s/he will point you in the right direction. My store has a list at the Customer Service desk where they notate products their customers' request.
BIG BATCH Beef & Bean Chili
1 20-oz. bag Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup dried bean mix
6 cups water
3 pounds ground beef
2 large onions, diced
3 14-oz. cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 16-oz. can tomato sauce
2 packets chili seasoning mix
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
Combine dried beans (with included seasoning packet) and water in a large pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer two hours.
Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet until meat is cooked through then add to beans (do not drain – this is the only form of fat we have for this entire huge batch of chili and we need the pan drippings for richness and flavor).
Add remaining ingredients, stir well, cover then continue cooking on medium-low for two hours or until beans are tender. Add more salt or seasonings to taste if necessary.
Makes approximately 18-20 servings.
- You can make this EVEN easier by using 4 packets of chili seasoning mix (vs. 2) in place of the remaining seasoning and spices.
- Freeze leftovers in airtight containers up to six months.
- If you can’t find Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup in your market, please ask your grocer for them. Until then, you can order them online!
- I haven't tried it myself, but if you want to cook this in a crock pot, cook the beans and water for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high, add remaining ingredients then continue cooking on high for 2 hours or until beans are tender.
The development of this recipe was sponsored by Hurst's Beans. As always, all opinions are my own.