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Walter McIlhenney's Chili

Walter McIlhenny was very fond of homemade chili and liked to serve his version to former Marine Corps buddies who visited him on the island.


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds lean beef chuck, 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco Pepper Sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • Cooked rice
  • Chopped onion
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream


  1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. In three batches, brown the beef well, removing each batch with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, salt and Tabasco sauce; cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the water and chiles; bring to a boil. Return the beef to the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, 1 1/2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  5. Serve the chili over rice with onion, cheese and sour cream, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings