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Tidewater Chili

Makes 18-20 servings


  • 4 large onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons basil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 3 cans (28 ounces each) Italian plum tomatoes
  • 2 pounds Surry County, Virginia, smoked sausage or Italian smoked sausage
  • 2 cans (29 ounces each) tomato puree
  • 5 pounds lean chuck
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cans (15 ounces each) red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon salt


Saute the onion and garlic in the peanut oil over medium heat. Stir in the tomatoees, tomato puree, and herbs and spices and simmer while cooking the meats. Cut the sausage into 1/2-inch pieces and brown. Drain and add to the mixture. Brown the chuck in small batches; drain and add to the mixture. Simmer for 1 hour. Add the beans.

This recipe is featured in "Entertaining Ideas from Williamsburg" available from our online catalog.