This recipe for Johnny Cash’s Chili is is really warming and cold weather perfect. There is a tasty variation here too if you want to add some venison steak – delicious.

Cooking with Columbo

This Johnny Cash’s Chili recipe comes from popular local food blog who are publishing a new cookbook called “Cooking with Columbo” which has a fabulous selection of celebrity recipes. You can buy your very own copy of the book here >>

To celebrate the book launch we are joining in with the cook-along. (2018 is not only the 50th anniversary of Columbo, it is also 50 years since the classic Johnny Cash album, At Folsom Prison was recorded. Making this the perfect recipe choice.)

How does the Columbo Bowl Chili Cook-along work?  All you need to do is cook up some Johnny Cash chili and either email photos, to here Silverscreen Suppers  or a link to a blog post if you are a blogger.  There will be a PRIZE DRAW so the names of everyone who joins in will go into a hat, with a chance to win some impressive Columbo goodies. You can check them out here >>

Quantities below are to serve six people.

Ingredients For Johnny Cash’s Chili

1 lb / 450g minced beef from Morley Butchers
1/2 lb / 225g venison steaks or beef steaks, such as sirloin, or a rump roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon canola/rapeseed oil
24 oz / 680g canned tomatoes
1 large green bell pepper
1/2 large red bell pepper
2.5 jalapeño peppers (optional)
1/2 habanero pepper (optional)
1 packet McCormick’s Mild Chili Seasoning Mix (or your favorite brand)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup / 32g chili powder (New Mexico chili powder if available)
1/6 cup / 21g cumin
1/2 tablespoon sage
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
15 oz / 400g can black beans, drained
15 oz / 400g can pinto beans, drained
15 oz / 400g can chili beans/kidney beans in chili sauce
12 oz / 340g can kidney beans, drained*
6 oz / 170ml beer
1/8 cup / 25g sugar
A handful of self-rising cornmeal*

Cooking Method For Johnny Cash’s Chili

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the steak in the oil in batches, draining off some of the fat if necessary. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a separate frying pan, brown the ground meat over medium-high heat. Drain off the fat and set meat aside.

With the oil remaining in the pot, brown half the onions and garlic over medium heat until they are caramelized. Now add the well-drained ground beef and steak. Stir and heat it all up. Add the cans of tomatoes, the bell peppers, hot peppers (if using), and the remainder of the onions and garlic. Heat to a brisk simmer, stirring often.

John Carter Cash says that his dad would normally add the spices in the following order, first the chili packet, followed by some salt and black pepper, chili powder, cumin, sage, oregano, and cayenne pepper. John advises tasting the chili and once the spicing it is to your liking, drain the cans of beans and add to the mixture. Now taste again, as the beans mellow the flavor of the chili. Once the chili is to your taste, pour in the bottle of beer. Stir well. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sugar to your taste. Simmer, covered, for at least another 30 minutes, making sure to stir so the chili does not burn. Now add the cornmeal and stir in.

* If self-rising cornmeal is unavailable, you can make it yourself. Just combine 1 cup / 120g of cornmeal, 1/3 cup / 40g all-purpose/plain flour, 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Put the leftover mix in a sealed container and save for your next batch of Johnny Cash’s Chili.