Warm up in cold weather with Raymond Burr's chili recipe

The Perry Mason star would have gotten along with Columbo quite well.

When you think "chili" and "classic crime television," the first name that comes to mind is Columbo. Peter Falk's character loved to eat the stuff. But as far as making a big pot of chili? Leave that to Perry Mason.

Newspaper columnist Johna Blinn had a rather unique syndicated series that profiled celebrities and their recipes. It was a popular read in the 1970s. These recipes of the stars were later collected in her 1981 Celebrity Cookbook

One of those recipes happened to be a chili from the kitchen of Raymond Burr. Yes, Perry Mason himself loved his spicy stew.

Here's the recipe, reprinted from Recipes for Rebels:


1 1/2 lbs ground round steak

2 large onions, diced

2 tbsp. Wesson oil (or another vegetable oil)

1 lb. dried red beans

1 chunk, salt pork

1 20 oz. can (or 2 1/2 cups) canned tomatoes

1/2–3/4 tsp. chili powder, to taste

• In a large pan, add beans with enough water to cover by 1 inch and cook along with salt pork until beans are tender. Add water as necessary, and then let the water boil down until soup is thick.

• Saute ground beef in oil, along with onions and chili powder until done.

• Add beef to beans, along with the can of tomatoes. Continue cooking for 2 hours or more at very low heat. This produces a sweet, succulent chili like you have never tasted before. Better the second day.

If you do decide to make it, let us know how it is!

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Coraline 1 month ago
1/2 teaspoon of 'chili powder'? So this is just a bean & hamburger soup?
boogerdogger Coraline 26 days ago
3/4 teaspoon?..........Stand Back!!
Coraline boogerdogger 26 days ago
I make my own chili powder & use 2-3 tablespoons of it when I make chili.
MarkSpeck 1 month ago
It wasn't just Perry Mason that loved chili...Ironside, Burr's later character, also sang the praises of chili, claiming in one early episode that it had 'all the ingredients needed to sustain life'.
Srick MarkSpeck 1 month ago
Ironside's fondness for chili is what came to mind as soon as I saw the title of this article. He also insisted that his chili pot, which was apparently reserved for preparing only that food, was not to be washed.
RobCertSDSCascap 1 month ago
You lost me at beans.
I think there is some soaking process you're supposed to go through with dried beans before cooking them in this manner. Some substance in them that can upset your stomach unless it gets rinsed out.
Thank you, but I only meant I never eat chili that has beans.
daDoctah 1 month ago
You might have to explain "chili size" in that picture for the benefit of people not from California.
Kathleen daDoctah 1 month ago
I think it or they are 4.4 to 7.2 oz (ounces) depending on your family
ramekins come in different sizes
daDoctah Kathleen 1 month ago
A "chili size" is an open-face hamburger on rye toast topped with chili. The "size" part refers to the amount of chili used for this dish, different from what you'd get if you just ordered a cup or bowl of chili.
Kathleen daDoctah 1 month ago
Thanks for the heads up
boogerdogger daDoctah 26 days ago
I used to get a Spaghetti Size at Bob's Big Boy in Pocatello when I was young. Basically spaghetti topped with chili (no beans), cheese and onions. Yummmie!
texasluva 1 month ago
Columbo- Ah I gotta just say.....I really enjoyed your cases Mr Mason. My wife she just loves you.
Perry Mason-You can come work for me anytime. I have a job opening since Paul has left us
Columbo- You don't say. Wow if my wife finds out I am starting today.
Perry Mason-In the mean time I want to share this recipe with you. My famous Chili recipe
Columbo- I am just ....so ecstatic and when the Mrs. sees your Chili recipe.... she'll flip. I can't thank you enough Mr Mason.
Perry Mason- In the mean time talk it over with her and get back to me.
Columbo- I am so .....humbled over your offer Mr. Mason. I will certainly get right back to you.
Perry Mason- Just one thing I would like to say Columbo.
Columbo- What's that?
Perry Mason- Please put out that cigar
jholton30062 texasluva 1 month ago
Very good, although I don't know if Perry would object to Columbo's cigar, since he smoked himself, as did Paul Drake...
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