Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's officially Fall. It's time for chili.

I love chili. It's the perfect food to come home to after a rainy day on the soccer field. It's spicy goodness just warms you up from the inside out.

But there's a problem.

I'm a picky chili person. I've searched for YEARS for a really good recipe. I had an amazing chili at a fall party almost nine years ago. Unfortunately, no amount of groveling, whining or bribery could force my host to divulge his secret recipe. I'm still feeling sad about that.

Then I found this recipe. I think it may even be better than my host's secret recipe. (At least, that's what I keep telling myself.) I've taken out a few ingredients from the original recipe as I have one child who isn't so much into spicy stuff. (Yes, we've double checked with the hospital and he really is ours.) For the original recipe, click here:

Please don't let the long ingredient list put you off, it is well worth the effort. It's one of those recipes that will be happy to simmer in the crock-pot all day or be made ahead of time and reheated the next day. Also, be warned: This is a LARGE recipe. We can eat half for dinner and lunch the next day and freeze the other half for busy nights.

Fall Day Chili:
2 pounds ground beef
1 pund bulk Italian sausage, mild
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green and 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cups beef broth
1/2 cup beer
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white sugar

In a large stockpot over medium heat, brown ground beef and sausage. Drain off excess grease.

Pour in chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Add onion, celery, peppers, bouillon and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

The longer the chili simmers, the better. Serve with frito corn chips, grated cheddar cheese, and sour cream.


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