Good Stuff

comments: 60


Today would have been my dad's 64th birthday. In his honor, I give you our family's classic chili recipe, perfected by my dad over many winter weekend afternoons. I make my version of it on his birthday every year. It's sweet and smoky and wonderful, and tastes like home to me. My recipe uses the measurements that my dad used (in case you are wondering who measures out things like "5 tablespoons of mustard" in tablespoons) and includes that magic elixir, Liquid Smoke, which freaks some people out. If you had asked my dad whether or not you could omit it, he would've responded gruffly, "Just do what you're told." So I do.

Chili Lobo
by Albert Ieronemo

2 lbs. ground turkey (or ground beef)
2 c. chicken stock (or beef stock)
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 c. dark molasses
16 oz. mild bottled picante sauce
1 16 oz. can of light red kidney beans, drained
1 16 oz. can of dark red kidney beans, drained
5 tablespoons yellow mustard
5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried minced onion

1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

Ditallini pasta

Brown the turkey in a large stock pot of Dutch oven and drain off excess fat. Add all of the other ingredients except the onion and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the onion and pepper and simmer for another 45 minutes. To make it Ieronemo-authentic, you would serve this over ditali pasta. They never have this at my grocery stores, so I usually use ditalini, which is just wrong (Dad would say). But what can you do (he would say that, too). Top with a dollop of sour cream, or cheddar cheese, or whatever you like on your chili.

Happy birthday, Dad. Miss you. Thinking of you. xo


Wow. It looks awesome. Thanks for sharing about your dad.

this looks delicious! and its so sweet you do this for him.

I think that's an awesome way to do something in memory of your dad each year!

That's a sweet tradition and the recipe seems very authentic. But that's a crazy amount of mustard!

It looks and sounds delicious! I miss my dad, too.

What a lovely dish and a lovely way to honor your dad each year. Thanks for sharing.

Wow that looks amazing. I bet the taste is so rich and deep. I really want to try this recipe.

Great sounding recipe thanks Alica,lovely tradition.

Mmmm...that sounds so good! My dad is a big chili maker, too! :) Here are the cookies I just made for his 65th birthday...

That chili is a gorgeous color, I'm sure it has a very wonderful taste as well!

Thanks for sharing your dad's recipe. My dad loved to cook too. He perfected a mean pot of albondigas soup, and his spaghetti sauce is legendary in our family. Whenever I smell the onion and bell pepper cooking, it smells like "home" to me too. What a sweet tribute to your dad. I miss my dad so much also. I'll def. start making his spaghetti sauce on his birthday now too, but sometimes it falls on Thanksgiving, so it will have to be around his birthday on those years. LOL!

That looks great! I'm excited for ground turkey recipes since that's what we always use anyways :)

I was wondering, what does the Lobo in Chili Lobo mean?


what a lovely way to celebrate your dad. thank you for sharing—i can't wait to give this recipe a try—i even have liquid smoke in my pantry! (oh, and it's my birthday today, too!)

We are always looking for new chili recipes to try - this looks like a good one. Happy Birthday Mr. Ieronemo, we sure enjoy the gift you gave us in your daughter and her words that she shares with us.

sounds wonderful!!!! what a great way to honor your dad! liquid smoke is a funny thing. we have a bottle of it in our cupboard and we have used it exactly once. does liquid smoke go bad? :)

Oh, what a sweet thing to do in memory of your dad. My dad passed away on 2/3/09. I miss him so much -- my heart is broken -- I'll have to think of a fitting tribute to him. It won't be from the kitchen though; Dad once left pancake batter on the ceiling from flipping!

This made me weepy AND hungry at the same time. Well done. What a beautiful tribute to your dad.

I need to pick up ingredients and try this out. We're getting a big dump of snow today and chili sounds perfect.

Anything that has liquid smoke is a must eat now!
A true magic elixir indeed.
Thank you for sharing your beloved recipe Alicia!

A wonderful way to remember your dad and share him with others.

The chili looks great! It has such a rich, dark color. I think I will try the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

I clicked on the link for the noodles that your dad used; they seem like they would be good with soup or chili. If you can't find them around your place why haven't (or maybe your have) ordered some from this link?

My dad died in August, 2007. He was 70 years old on August 3 and passed away on August 6. I still miss him so much. He loved to make chili in the crock pot. I don't think he followed a recipe; he just added what he thought would make it good; and he was usually right; his chili was really great.

I went back and read the tribute to your dad which I had not seen before. Such a handsome man and obviously so well loved by his daughter. So now I am also weepy and hungry!

I am printing out your recipe. I know we'll enjoy it! Thanks for sharing a bit of your dear dad with us!

What a delicious way to honor your precious father. I love it...

If you're travelling through SW, you should stop at Barbur World Foods on the corner of Barbur and Capitol. I saw Ditali pasta over there. Just in case you want to, you know, stock up for next year. Not to mention they make fresh pita in their brick oven that is to die for, as well as their Zaatar pizza...anyway, I digress. I really, really want to make this chili!

Happy Birthday Alicia's Dad!! I adore your stirring tribute, and am so inspired to see you celebrate with him, through his cooking. Thank you for always sharing your heart with us!

Oh, thanks for this hon. A true Ieronemo classic. What a treat! And a happy happy birthday to your pa, wherever he may be.

Just realized that I forgot to order a birdie kit. Is it too late for that? I know you were going to order supplies by now, so I don't want to mess you up by ordering late. Maybe if there are some extras...

PS - Chicago trip starts tomorrow. Whee!

Thank you so much for sharing this today. I was cranky and crabby and realized I hadn't checked in with you yet (as I do every morning!) and felt immediately soothed by your lovely pictures and words.
I'm dedicating my morning cup of coffee to your dad for his birthday.

How funny...I lost my dad pretty young, but I've gotten into making his "famous" (in our family, anyhow) sweet and sour spareribs and rice on his birthday the past few years.

It's a good way to reminisce, isn't it? Although I make it a little "wrong" myself. I don't think he'd mind. :)

Happy Birthday Albert!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at