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chili editI found this “Boilermaker Tailgate Chili” recipe posted by the MIGHTYPURDUE22 on years ago and it’s been a favorite in our house ever since. With 5 stars and 3676 reviews you can’t go wrong with this one. We’ve made it for family gatherings, superbowl get togethers, work potlucks and tonight a backyard camp out with the grand kids. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients, it is actually very easy to make. Cutting and dicing takes some time but it’s well worth the effort. Because we have all different ages and preferences in our house I leave out the HOT ingredients and let people add hot peppers or sauce to taste. For bouillon, I recommend the brand “Better Than Bouillon”. It is much better than bouillon cubes. The longer the chili simmers the better it tastes. It’s even better the 2nd day so it makes for great leftovers. Serve with either Fritos or cornbread and top with cheese and optional sour cream.

Chili collage 2Boilermaker Tailgate Chili Recipe:

Makes 12 servings.


  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon – “Better Than Bouillon” brand
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup chili powder – optional, use according to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™) – optional, use according to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper – optional, use according to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream – optional


  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
  2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
  4. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese. Serve sour cream on the side. 

After our camp out chili meal we roasted marshmallows over the fire and told ghost stories. No electronics, and the kids even made up their own ghost tale, tag teaming and coming up with all sorts of ghoulish descriptions. Story telling is slowly becoming a lost art and it was so great listening to them use their imaginations without the help of television, iphones, ipods or other electronics. We of course had to end the evening with a “not so scary tale”, thus the “I’m the bloody finger and I’m five miles from your doorstep” story. Does anyone remember that one?

Campfire collage 2

The kids are tucked in for the night in the backyard tent. It’s now quiet outside so we have some scaring to do! A toilet plunger with the end wrapped in aluminum foil and covered with a black hoodie along with a backscratcher make for two perfect scare tools…we’re on our way outside to pull some spooky pranks! The candle that is supposed to burn all night is mysteriously extinguished, scratching is heard on the side of the tent and then the apparition appears!

lantern edit,


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