This is one of my favorite comfort food recipes passed down to me from my Grandma Johnson. I remember her making it often throughout the year, even on Christmas Eve, and especially on cold and rainy days. Since my Grandma raised 5 kids on a pretty tight budget, Mom says they ate this a lot growing up.
It really isn't a traditional chili at all, but it is an easy and inexpensive meal to prepare (especially for a lot of people) and it is even better warmed up the next day!
Ingredients (makes 6-8 servings)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 c. dry large elbow macaroni
1lb. ground beef
3-5 celery stalks, chopped
2 cans red kidney beans
46 oz. tomato juice (I like V-8 Spicy blend)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. red pepper chili flakes
salt & pepper to taste
Chop onions and celery into small bite size pieces.
Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions, but cook the pasta 1-2 minutes less than done.
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot, add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add the ground beef, salt pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook until beef browns.
Toss in the chopped celery, kidney beans and stir for a couple of minutes.
Gradually add in the tomato juice. Let simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes and serve.
Note: There have been many attempts to improve, alter, add to, enhance or change this recipe, the options are endless, but this is the way I like it best, simple!