Jake Tyler's Lazy Man's Chili

This week the weather is brisk in Coldwater, Oklahoma, the fictional setting for my Coldwater Cove series. Folks are turning up their collars against the wind that whistles down from the tired peaks of the Winding Stair Range and off the choppy surface of Lake Jewel. Jake Tyler, an ex-marine who's also the chief cook and bottle washer of the Green Apple Grill, has put his Lazy Man's Chili back on the menu. 

When he has time, Jake likes to cook from scratch, but sometimes he takes a few shortcuts. The results are still fantastic. Here's his easy recipe for chili soup guaranteed to warm up your insides:


Spicy V8 juice (48 oz.)
Chili Beans (2 cans)
Pinto Beans (2 cans)
Kidney Beans (2 cans)
Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies (10 oz. can)
Bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green)
Onion diced
Mushrooms (1 cup sliced)
Ground Beef (2 pounds)
Minced Garlic (1 Tablespoon)
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
Chili Powder (1 Tablespoon)


Combine first 5 ingredients in a stock pot. Be sure to drain the pinto and kidney beans before adding. Cook on medium heat. Chop up the peppers, onion and mushrooms and add to the mix. You can also add half a package of frozen corn if you wish. It adds another pop of color to the bowl.

Jake likes to use a steamer/strainer to cook his ground beef. It drains the excess fat without sacrificing flavor. Or you can brown it in a skillet. If you prefer to use ground turkey or venison, either works well. Season the meat with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, minced garlic and chili powder. Add to the stock pot. 

Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat till it's bubbling gently. Let it cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally. 

Jake's Green Apple Grill customers garnish their chili with chopped jalapenos if they're feeling adventurous and shredded cheddar if they're not. Serve in a deep bowl. You'll want a Methodist's portion. (That means a lot!)