Checkout with Laurin Stamm: Chandler Chili

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In early December of 1977, food editor Laurin Stamm began a weekly recipe column titled “From the Kitchen of The Cypress House.” The column ran continuously through November of 2000, featuring one or two recipes each week, and totaling more than 1,150 recipes over the 23 years.

Checkout, a current weekly column that features various food stories, events and recipes, looks back at some of the most popular recipes from The Kitchen of the Cypress House, and perhaps a newly discovered one every now and then.

Last week we recalled two soup recipes from the past, Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Tomato. Now that we have a little cooler weather, here’s an old recipe for chili that’s hard to beat.

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From The Kitchen of The Cypress House, Feb. 8, 1978:


If you’ve run out of cold weather menus, you’re not alone. I keep thinking spring lamb and barbecued chicken, but I keep cooking hot soups and Grandma’s chicken pie. It’s cold outside and it seems the weather will never warm up.


We can at least vary the winter dishes, however. For a change in chili, for instance, we want you to turn your cold-winter-night chili into Chandler Chili for a really gourmet treat.

Several years ago this recipe appeared in the Post in an article by Cecily Brownstone. I clipped it but didn’t get around to trying it immediately. Annie Lee Guider did, however, and her whole family loved it. I followed suit and so did my family. Then I passed the recipe to Carolyn Beard and she, too, agrees it is a chili to serve company or family. A special treat.

The main difference for us, of course, is the chunky beef. I use a round steak, cut in cubes or a chuck roast, cut bite-size. (Buy the market special and cut it yourself.) The other main difference is the half-cup red wine, an absolute must.

The recipe calls for serving with chopped onions and sliced cheese. Try this atop your bowl of chili for a real change. Vive la difference!


Chandler Chili

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups thin strips onion

1 cup chopped green pepper

2 pounds lean beef, cut in ½-inch cubes

1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, not drained

1/2 cup dry red wine

Clove of garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

4 tablespoons chili powder

1 (21-ounce) can red kidney beans, not drained


In a large wide saucepot melt the butter; add the onion and green pepper and cook gently until wilted.  Add the beef and brown. Add the remaining ingredients except the beans. Simmer, covered, until the beef is tender, about 2 hours. Add beans and reheat. Serve in wide, shallow soup plates with salted crackers, chopped sweet onion, dill pickles sliced lengthwise, sliced (not grated) cheddar cheese. Makes 6 servings.