Italian Sausage Chili
Hi all. :)
This is one of my favorite chili recipes. Not too difficult to make, even with your hands cuffed behind your back. ;) It's also a big chili, for a large group of people. So I hope you have an 8 quart stock pot to cook it in, you will need it! Serves at least 10, or it can be divided up into several meals.
1 pound of cooked Italian sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch slices.
2 pounds of ground beef, no more than 92% lean.
2 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes, in juice.
2 14 oz cans of chili or red beans, drained of juices.
1 14 oz can of chili beans in a spicy sauce, NOT DRAINED.
6 oz of tomato paste.
1 cup of diced white onion.
1 red bell pepper, chopped and seeded.
2 red chili peppers, NOT dried peppers, thinly sliced, with seeds. (For a spicer chili use jalapeno peppers)
2 tbs of cooked chopped bacon.
1/2 cup dark beer, flat and at room temperature.
1/4 cup of chili powder.
4 cubes beef bouillon, broken up.
2 tbs of virgin olive oil.
2 cloves of garlic, minced.
1 tbs of dried oregano.
1 tbs of worcestershire sauce.
1 tsp of ground cumin.
2 tsp of smokey Tabasco sauce.
1 tsp of basil.
1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper.
1 tsp of salt.
1 tsp of cayenne pepper.
1 tsp of paprika.
1 tsp white sugar.
Shredded cheddar cheese for topping.
A couple of hours before you start put out the beer to go flat. Measure out the half cup, and enjoy the rest. :)
When you are ready to start, I find it easiest to start with the dry spices. Just get a bowl and measure into it all the dry spices and seasonings. Give them a mix and set it aside. This will let you put all the bottles away and clear your prep area.
Then move on to the bell peppers, carve out the seed pods from the top, this will let you slice and dice the rest easily. After that, slice the chili peppers, then the onion. All the peppers and onion can go into another bowl ready to use.
Then slice your sausage, diagonally if you can for flair. If you need to, peel the sausage first, but the skin does have flavor, and keeps the slices intact while they slow cook. After which, chop your cooked bacon. Or, you could use bacon bits, but fresh bacon is best.
Finally, open the canned ingredients, and drain the two cans of regular chili beans.
Put all your beans, tomatoes, and the tomato paste into the stock pot. Begin heating using a medium heat, and stir everything together.
In a smaller pan, heat the olive oil and add the ground beef. As the beef almost browns, add the Italian sausage. Cook until the beef is fully browned and add to the cooking pot.
Add the bowl of spices to the cooking pot and mix well.
Add the onion, peppers, bacon and beer, and stir again.
Cover, and let the mixture come up to temperature. Then set the heat to low and let it simmer for at least two hours. Make sure to give it a stir occasionally, and after two hours start tasting it. Add salt if needed, but sparingly.
Two hours is about the minimum time I would cook this before eating it, but I recommend more like four hours, as long as you keep the burner low. You don't want to reduce it too much, so keep it covered.
You can also cook this one day, refrigerate it, and heat it up again the next day. But don't put it in the fridge hot. Let it cool to almost room temperature first, or it can go sour on you if it cools too fast.
And when you do serve it, sprinkle with cheddar cheese!
I hope you enjoy it! :)