Recipe of the Week
Dragon’s breath chili
Courtesy of
Rodney Merrill

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1/3 lb. kidney beans
1/3 lb. pinto beans
1/3 lb. navy beans
6 cups water
2 medium onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb. lean ground beef (or lean ground turkey)
1 lb. pork or turkey sausage
1 can tomatoes (28 oz. or 1 qt. home-canned)
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper


Sort beans to remove any sand or pebbles, then wash and drain. Cover beans with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil for about 15 minutes. Cover and let stand for about 1 hour.

(When cooking ground meats, stir gently to avoid smashing and compacting.)

Cook sausage on medium heat. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and add to beans. Sauté onion and minced garlic in sausage fat until slightly golden. Add ground meat (beef or turkey) and cook on medium-high heat until meat is browned. Add to beans.

Break up tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and add to beans. (Hint: Press tomatoes against the inside of can (or jar) with sharp knife, or hold each tomato over pot and crush it between fingers). Add spices.

Simmer, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours. Taste-testing is the only sure way to know when chili is done. Beans should be slightly soft all the way through (no “gritty” texture in the middle) and should leave the taste-tester thinking only of water. Serves 5-6.

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