Delta Dawn’s Rifle Chili


Making chili can be somewhat of a passion to anyone who is a cooking enthusiast…most all chili’s are pretty good, right? So, making chili my way was important to me and to bring it to you in that Delta Dawn style, I needed to take measurements–and I don’t use measurements! I use my skill and eye ball to make anything and everything and always have!

In the case of Rifle Chili, let me tell you how I named it that. Making chili has always been one of my favorite meals to cook over a good campfire. Well, one of those times I made “The” perfect chili, while camping with my sister, Heather and son, Justin in Colorado.

In Colorado, bison is a regular ground meat you can buy at almost any market so originally it was made with bison, but it works just as well with ground beef. Now, when I make any chili, I always make large quantities to save for the next few days and it is always better the next day or so. You can also freeze it for later in individual-sized portions. The recipe here will be a good-sized chili for a tailgating or football game or large families.

Now, back to how my chili got its name. After I made that chili down by the creek where we had chosen to camp that night, it was so good we decided I should name it. We started joking about names and such and talking about how great the chili really was! My sister said it was so good it would “blow your socks off.” Since we were in the town of Rifle, Colorado it was later decided I should call it my Rifle Chili. So, the name stuck.

Later, I figured out the measurements to relay it to all you folks who are interested in making some for yourself and your families or friends. I hope you will enjoy this chili as much as we have. It’s the perfect thing to warm you up on a cold day!


5 lbs. ground beef
1 – 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 – 27 oz. can Blue Runner cream style red beans, New Orleans Style
1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 – 14.5 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
1 – 10 oz. can Rotel chipotle diced tomatoes
2 med. yellow onions, diced
2 tablespoons Lacoste chipotles
2 tablespoons hot Mexican chili powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Start by browning the ground meat until it is cooked down and all fat is separated, about 15 minutes. Drain out the fat leaving very little for taste (about a teaspoon). Add all other ingredients and cook the chili for about two hours on a medium to low heat. Change up seasoning according to your tastes.

After eating or serving to your guests you may want to check and see if your socks are still on! Enjoy!

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