In celebration of the Disneyland 60th, Disney’s food and concept beverage development has been hard at work creating meals, drinks and treats that will make guests’ visits even more special. One of my personal favorite additions is Walt’s Favorite Chili, which has been added to the Carnation Cafe menu.
Disney lore is full of stories about Walt’s love for chili, including stories of him eating it at Disneyland and frequenting Burbank instituion Chili John’s in Burbank near the Walt Disney Studio. I recently had the opportunity to try the chili and cornbread served at Carnation Cafe on Main Street in Disneyland and it is absolutely delicious.
And while I am always happy to dig in to a bowl of chili when I’m at Disneyland on a cold day, I love being able to make Walt’s favorite chili at home any time I want! That’s right, straight from our friends at the Disneyland Resort is Walt Disney’s personal recipe for chili and beans so that those who can’t make it to Disneyland can create some real Disney magic at home!
Chili and Beans: Walt Disney’s Personal Recipe
2 pounds dried pinto beans
2 medium onions, sliced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 can (28 ounces) chopped tomatoes
course salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Wash and sort beans and soak overnight in cold water.
2. Drain beans and place in a 2-quart saucepan. Add fresh water to cover by 2 inches. Add sliced onion and simmer, covered, for 2 hours until tender.
3. Heat oil in a large pan and saute garlic. Add beef and celery and cook until lightly browned. Add chili powder, paprika and thyme. Mix in chopped tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
4. When beans are tender, combine with meat, stirring gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook’s note: For spicier chili, add 1/8 teaspoon each of coriander, turmeric, chili seeds, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and ground ginger. You can also add dried hot pepper to taste.
At Disneyland’s Carnation Cafe, Walt’s favorite chili is served with shredded cheddar, sour cream and cornbread. Of course, you can garnish with your family’s personal favorites. It’s delicious!