Sunday, February 9, 2014

To Hell with You Chili

I call this "To Hell with You Chili" because I know the moment I post it a bunch of people who REALLY care about chili will write to me and explain to me exactly why this chili is just so so so wrong.

I don't care.  I like this chili.  It tastes good.  It makes me happy.  And my kids like it too.

So . . . well, you get where this is going . . .

Some credit here goes to my friend Sarah who, years ago, told me that her secret for good chili was to use italian sausage instead of ground beef.  Way to go, Sarah!  From there on, it was just one broken rule after another for me.

Note that I kept the heat pretty low on this.  Feel free to add more chili powder or red pepper flakes, particularly if you're mad or your children have been acting sassy lately.  

To Hell with You Chili

2 14 oz. cans Mexican tomatoes (I mean that the tomatoes have Mexican-style spices in them, not that they're actually from south of the border)
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 carrot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, also chopped
1/3 cup dark beer
1/3 cup beef broth
1/3 cup steak sauce
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 jar of fire-roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 lb. mild Italian sausage (or hot, if you prefer)
1/2 lb ground sirloin
5 slices of bacon
2 TBS chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried basil
1 15 oz. can kidney beans
1 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
1 TBS chopped fresh parsley

  1. Combine tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, carrot, celery, beer, broth, wine, steak sauce, pepper flakes, bell peppers, and roasted pepper together in a large pot.  
  2. Simmer over medium heat. 
  3. Cook bacon in a frying pan until crunchy. 
  4. Drain bacon on paper towels.  Cook sausage and beef in bacon grease.  Stir in the chili powder, basil, and cumin. 
  5. Mix the beef/sausage mixture into the simmering vegetables, adding the bacon.  
  6. Cover and continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes (or longer), until the veggies are tender and the flavors are tasty.  
  7. Stir in the beans, cilantro, and parsley.  Simmer for another ten minutes. 
  8. Serve with saltine crackers.  

Family ratings: 

Will, who almost likes this chili as much as fajitas but won't give it a higher score just out of principle: 9.5
Lucy, who pretty much loves everything:  10
Jamie, who can occasionally surprise himself with the things he likes: 9
Ellen, who much prefers the vegetarian chili recipe we've been using for twenty years:  6
Paul, who knows he's going to get in trouble with his mom for naming this chili what he did:  10