Monday, January 23, 2012

Classic Chili...Meal in a Jar ( My 52 Method Continues!)

 Monday I try to share a new food storage cooking recipe. It's huge part of who I am and what I do. I'm a chef. I use whole foods on a regular basis. I'm also a mom. I adore practical meals that even my twelve year old son could make. Non-rocket-science stuff  here. This is a method of food storage called "Dry Pack Canning". You do not need a pressure canner, water bath canner or any special equipment other than a mason jar with a screw top lid and some oxygen absorber packets. The oxygen absorbers are NOT optional. They make this a safe way to store these meals long term.  I can't begin to put into words how fast this method of food storage is sweeping the nation and what an immense response we have had to the posts here on the meals in a jar. They're not only convenient, but also offer some great peace of mind. If you like what you see, be a dear. Share it. I'm not shy about the fact that I love seeing these recipes reach as many as possible...for all the right reasons. When we've had personal need of these meals during rough times, they have been an amazing blessing. Yes, they will feed 4 adults. Generally they make enough food to feed a sample to all in attendance at my cooking classes and have some left over (usually around 30-40 students).

My sister brought to my attention the fact that despite how amazing  and simple the menu was that I had developed for  getting a year's supply of food ( for details see: 52 Method, Meals in a Jar 7 day menu)...I had somehow forgotten a big family favorite. Classic Chili. Some like it hot. Some like it mild...but 99% of the people I know will eat it at least twice a month...if not more. So, this seemed like a perfect fit to post today. 

As I mentioned...Today, I'm sharing my newest recipe.  Classic chili. Mine has a good amount of tomato and some good amounts of veggie as well. I love flavor. Plus, sweet Granny and Mr. Putt Putt love their chili. I can't go wrong if the in-laws like it right?!
 I used some Freeze Dried Beef Chunks in this for some added lean real meat. You can use Chili, Beef, or Taco flavored TVP if you're a vegetarian and want this meal set up that way. NOTE: The repacking of Freeze Dried Meat must be done within 24-48 hours of opening the can and must be done in a dry environment. Once repacked you must use an oxygen absorber to make sure there is a vacuum oxygen free environment.
 Plus...I have to admit that Honeyville just came out with the quick cooking beans that I love and the price has been so good...I couldn't stop myself from stocking up!  They cook in 20 minutes. They never need to be soaked, pressure cooked or long cooked. Ever. So, it really maximizes what I can store. No more hard beans! I'm a chef. I know how to cook beans...but I can't stand the thought of ever throwing away old beans. These beans are cooked and then dehydrated they're actually ready to use. Thank you Honeyville for letting me play with these! I love them!

 I loved seeing this label. Whoever wrote this label deserves three gold stars on her forehead. 

Chef Tess' Classic Chili Meal in a Jar for a family of 4
yields 10 cups cooked chili

In a quart size jar layer these ingredients:
2 cups Honeyville Quick Cook Red Beans
1 cup  Tomato Powder (shake down into the beans or everything won't fit in the jar)
1/4 cup Freeze Dried Diced Celery (Honeyville has it at their retail stores. It's new.)
1T beef bullion (no MSG)
1 T chili powder (more or less depending on how you like your chili)
1T Chef Tess All Purpose Seasoning (In Honeyville retail stores and soon to be on a new retail site here). 
1 tsp hot chili flakes (if you like it hot)

I pack the ingredients as tightly as I can in the jar, shake the seasonings in there too. There is always room for the most vital addition to your jar, the oxygen absorber. (--That link will answer  a lot of questions about them.) You need one if you plan on using these meals. It keeps the meat and other ingredients fresh. This makes a vacuum environment. You need that. No you don't have to pressure can or water bath can this jar. 

To prepare:
Combine the contents of the jar with 7-8 cups hot water (depending on how thick you like your chili) and simmer over medium-high heat 25-30 minutes until hydrated and ready to eat. Serve with hydrated freeze dried cheese if desired...or just have it plain in all it's glory. 

There you go! Great for a major emergency, long term storage, or just any Tuesday night when you don't feel like thinking too hard about what's for dinner. 

Get the printable recipe-->Here

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

End note: I can't even express my thanks to everyone who has been sharing these recipes on Pinterest and all over the web. Literally overnight we've had an incredible response. Yes, the book is on it's way. No, I don't know the exact details yet, but Honeyville has been kind enough to assist in that effort. Yes...they also have been kind enough to bottle my spice blends. Now available at their retail stores. I will continue to teach at their retail stores across the Southwest. The next class is this Saturday at their Rancho, Cucamonga California location.  More upcoming class details: Here.
Thank you for your love and support as we work together to educate folks on how to cook with basic ingredients and feed their families. I'm honored to be part of your life. Even more so, I think that there are countless families who will benefit from this method. Please feel free to spread the word. In the very near future I'll be hosting a nice  giveaway as well! Keep your eyes peeled! Xoxo! 


Brenda Dlr said...

Now you're talkin'!!! This is just right up our alley! Now this and a batch of corn bread... Yummy! Thanks, Chef Tess!

Michelle H. said...

These are awesome! Thank you! Keep 'em coming!! :-)

Herbalpagan said...

I just found your blog and have already shared it with members of my preparedness group!
We have been looking for good recipes to premake meals with our long term storage foods.

Chef Tess said...

OH that makes me so happy! Thank you for sharing them with your preparedness group. It means so much! Xoxo!!

BarbaraO said...

Quite interesting! One question, though -- If one has a vacuum sealer is the oxygen absorber still necessary?

Chef Tess said...

If you have a vacuum sealer with a lid attachment it can be used, but you will need to use a muffin/cupcake liner inside the jar at the top to keep the powdered ingredients from being sucked into the machine. I've done it this way and it has worked, but I personally prefer the oxygen absorbers. They are faster for me.

Herbalpagan said...

I've been looking all over the HOneyville site for those quick cook beans. Do you have a link? They say they have "no such product"?

Chef Tess said...

The quick cook beans are not available yet on the online store (either are the freeze dried onions or celery). They are at the retail locations. I would suggest contacting the online store number and asking if they can add it to the online site.

Chef Tess said...

I just got a hold of the director of the online store for Honeyville. They should be available on their site in a week or two. Hoooray!!

Herbalpagan said...

YAY! I was going to give them a call if you hadn't I can just wait a few weeks. I'm thinking I'll order some and do a demo so everyone can take home a "meal in a jar" to try.
thanks a bunch!

Chef Tess said...

Herbalpagan, do you have a blog? I'm looking for some test kitchen partners right now to help test the recipes for the cookbook. If so, send me a note

Karen D. said...

What size oxygen absorbers do you use for the quart sized jars?

Chef Tess said...

I use the 300CC for the jars.

Deena said...

Chef Tess, thanks you for your blog. My question is, can you use regular dry beans in the jar method?

Chef Tess said...

Any beans you use in the jars must be the quick cook beans (unless you keep the regular beans separate in a bag and cook them for the regular 3 hours before you add the flavor ingredients. I'd suggest looking at the post on making your own quick cook beans that I posted. They cook faster and are a better choice for these meals.

Lynn said...

Would using the ground beef for the chili instead of the diced beef change the cooking time or water needed for cooking ? I love your blog, your videos and you! You're a blessing.

Chef Tess said...

Oh totally awesome with the ground beef. Cooking time doesn't change. Xoxo! Thank you for your sweet words darling!!