One of the annoying things about setting things up is making sure that things interact correctly. For example, I added a new thermostat to our house shortly after we moved in. But I needed to make sure that the thermostat worked… which meant I had to make sure that the furnace was working as well. Several hours running back and forth between the basement and our dining room eventually yielded a working thermostat. So it is with this. Trying to get this site, my virtual art gallery, and Facebook to play nice has been a similar sort of exercise — running back and forth trying to make this thing work, only to find out that other thing has broken. Now, however, I think everything’s connected and ready… All that’s left is the last test, which is what this post is for. But, I’ve gone on too long for this to be anything but simple…For that reason, at the prodding of a friend I am going to post the recipe for my chili. As an aside, please note that it does not have beans. As many have pointed out before, the full name of chili is actually “chili con carne”, or “spices and meat”. Thus, there’s no beans or other extraneous stuff — there isn’t even cut up tomato. You are free to add what you want, of course, but the lack of beans isn’t a mistake. It’s a feature.
Ingredients and Quantities:
- 1 lb ground beef (I prefer ground chuck, but you should get whatever fits your budget.)
- 1 lb beef roast, cut into approximately 1″ cubes (Bottom round tends to add flavor and a bit of texture, but I’ve also bought and used pre-cut “stew meat”. It doesn’t sound as appetizing, but it’s usually just as good.)
- 1 lb kielbasa, sliced into approximately 1/2″ thick disks (I’m partial to Hillshire Farms Hot Smoked Sausage but I’ve been unable to find it recently. Smoked kielbasa would also work.)
- 1 lb ground sausage (Bob Evans Zesty Hot Roll sausage is what I get but it’s only generally available in the Ohio/Pennsylvania area. If you can’t get Bob Evans you may need to experiment to find a product that works well with the recipe. I’ve had bad luck with Jimmy Dean, but your mileage may vary.)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 24 oz tomato sauce (I prefer the small 8oz cans of Hunt’s, but in a pinch I’ll grab the medium 15oz cans instead. Homemade tomato sauce would be best, but I just don’t have the patience.)
- 2 medium jalapeño peppers (optional — If you don’t want as much kick (or dislike jalapeno), omit. If you want more kick (or dislike jalapeno), use Habanero or even ghost peppers — just don’t blame me if it ends up too spicy to eat!)
- 2 cups of shredded cheese (Pepper jack is my go-to cheese, mainly because it melts well and adds another bit of kick. However, I’ve used both sharp and mild cheddar in the past. You might also try Gouda or Asiago. Really it’s pretty hard to go wrong with cheese.)
- 2 tbsp hot sauce (optional — I usually use Tabasco brand)
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp cayenne
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp oregano
- salt & (black) pepper to taste
- In a large pot mix the tomato sauce and the spices. Set over low heat and allow to simmer. Stir occasionally.
- Brown the ground beef and drain the excess fat. Similarly brown the ground sausage; drain any excess fat (there should not be any). Stir both cooked meats into the pot of simmering sauce.
- Split the jalapeños in half length-wise. Remove all the seeds; coarsely chop the jalapeno pepper halves. Set the chopped jalapeños aside.
- Heat approximately a tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a medium skillet. Saute the chopped onion and chopped jalapeños until the onion is golden. Stir the onions and jalapeños into the pot of simmering sauce. (If some of the butter ends up in there as well, all the better.)
- Brown the sliced kielbasa in a large skillet over medium heat until carmelized and slightly curled. As the pieces finish, add them directly to the pot of sauce. Stir the pot once all the kielbasa has been cooked.
- Brown the chunks of roast in a large skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper while cooking. Check for interior “doneness” by feel. (Helpful instructions for doing this can be found at SimplyRecipes – The Finger Test to Check the Doneness of Meat.) Alternatively, use a meat thermometer or cut one or two of the cubes open. Once cooked to your satisfaction, stir the chunks into the pot of sauce.
- Turn the heat under the pot of chili up to high, stirring slowly to mix and coat all ingredients.
- When the chili begins to boil, turn the heat back down to low and cover. Let simmer for several hours, stirring and tasting once per hour. Add spices as needed.
- Spoon chili into bowls. Stir 1/4 cup of grated cheese into each bowl of chili until fully melted.
- Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and crackers. Enjoy!