Sallie Hayden’s Chili

Sallie Hayden's Chili

One of the cookbooks that I picked up at the thrift store, was the Arizona Highways Heritage Cookbook, which was published back in 1988.

I love the food in Arizona because it’s heavily influenced by Mexican products.  One of the things I most enjoy is a good chili, so I had to try this one.

But you may be wondering who is Sallie Hayden and why was there chili named after her.  Let me tell you a little about Sallie Davis Hayden.


Charles Trumbull Hayden established the Hayden mill and ferry along the banks of the Salt River in Tempe. Carl Trumbull Hayden served Arizona for 56 years in Congress. Less well known, but equally as important, was Sallie Hayden, wife of Charles and mother of Carl (and three other children). She played an important role in Arizona’s development and is remembered as a woman of enormous vitality, intelligence and wit. She created a home where education and religious tolerance were taught. She took an active interest in national as well as local politics, an interest that was passed along to her son. (Source)

Sallie Hayden's Chili
Sallie Hayden’s Chili

Sallie Hayden’s chili was a civilized blend of meat and spices with, of course, the family brand of beans.

2 cups pinto or red beans (I used canned kidney beans)
1 quart fresh water
1 tablespoon salt
4 slices bacon
1 pound chopped beef or venison (I used pork)
2 tablespoons bacon dripping
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups tomato puree
1 cup beef broth
4 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon each, sage and cumin seed
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups onion, chopped
1/2 green chile pepper, seeded and diced (I used a small can of diced green chilies)

Wash and pick over beans.  Soak in fresh water overnight.  Drain. Cover with 1 quart fresh water and salt, then simmer in heavy 4 quart kettle 1 and a half hours.

I didn’t do the above step because I used canned beans, so if you’re using them too, just omit that portion.  Saute bacon and drain on towel.

Brown beef or venison in drippings.  Add to beans with seasonings, tomato puree, and beef broth.  Saute onion and pepper in butter to add to beans.  Cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 3 hours.

Garnish with crumbled bacon.  Serves 6-8

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