I’m one of those people who actually likes my job. Weird, right? Maybe not that weird, but so often I hear people complaining about work and the truth is, I rarely have a bad thing to say! Sure, its an office job, and I sit in a cubicle, and spend a lot of my time using Excel, but at the end of the day its just a really great place to work. I think one of the best parts of it though has to be the people. So cheesy, but its true.
Case in point: the chili cook-off we had at work today. Each department got to submit two entries, so naturally I clamored for one of our spots. There are about a zillion ways to make chili, but I am pretty partial to mine. Although I don’t actually have a copy of his recipe, my chili is inspired by the one my dad has made my whole life. I keep things standard. Nothing out of the ordinary here. No fancy cuts of meat. No weird spices like cinnamon. Not even beer. Just 2 kinds of ground meat, tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, and lots of south of the boarder spices. Oh and beans. How could I forget the beans? I use 4 different kinds. This recipe creates the perfect balance of texture, and flavor, and heat. The secret to the heat in my chili that a lot of taste testers were inquiring about is chipotle powder. I use it sparingly because it is spicy but I think it provides the perfect smokey kick that really hits you at the end of every bite. Although I didn’t win a prize, in my opinion this chili is everything that chili should be.
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 24 oz ground beef
- 20 oz hot italian sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 1/2 red peppers, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 28 oz cans of tomato sauce
- 2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
- 2 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes, drained
- 3 cups of beans (two 15 oz cans) of your choice (black, pinto, navy, kidney, etc)
- 3 Tbs chili powder
- 2 Tbs cumin
- 2 Tbs smoked paprika
- 1/2 Tbs chipotle powder
- Heat 1 Tbs of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven on the stovetop.
- Add the ground beef and ground sausage and brown until cooked almost completely. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up as it cooks.
- Add the onions and salt and cook with the meat for another 5 minutes, making sure the meat is cooked through completely.
- Add the peppers and garlic and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring every minute or two.
- Add the tomatoes, beans, and seasonings** and cook until the sauce is bubbly.
- Turn the heat down to low and simmer the chili for at least two hours on the stove top or until thick, seasoning as you go if needed. Stir the chili at last every half hour to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve immediately, or save for leftovers. Chili is always better on day two!
**NOTE: You may want to start by using a little less than my recommended seasonings. You can always add more to meet your desired taste. If you like a lot of spice, add more chipotle powder, if you are spiced adverse, leave it out.