Make my chili complex, please
I’ve never had better chili than that which was born of the Boilermaker Tailgate Chile Recipe with about a bazillion ingredients. I’ve written about this before, and I’m writing about it again. I was introduced to this recipe by my lovely pastor Tara Wallace at a home group. She’s a good cook, but she’s an even better teacher. Come hear her speak and sit with me at Northpoint Vineyard Church, seriously.
Anyway, one of the facilities of the company where I am PR/Social Media Specialist does a special carry-in lunch event every month and their first was a chili cook-off. I’m a very lucky grown up as I get to go to fun events like this, eat the food, take photos, share on social media, and get paid doing it! I’m going to sound like a real jerk here, but I wasn’t impressed. Although, I should say, this plant always has the best food, I believe my chili standard was raised pretty high after enjoying that chili Tara made way back when. There was one standout white chicken chili at the cook-off, but the regular chili was pretty boring. How could this be? Chili is supposed to be a standout food.
Now I understand many of you are committed to a particular recipe or just wing it. And I’m all for winging it, but I also love a good recipe to base my cooking and personally prefer complex chili: chili beans, black beans, corn, sweet peppers, hot peppers, fresh tomatoes, bacon, sausage, etc. … and this time I even put a leek in there. (Feel free to make jokes about taking a leek in the chili. Dan certainly did.) And it was really good. It was a giant pot and I planned to freeze some of it, but we’re down to only about 4 leftover cups in a week’s time. I guess I’ll just have to make it again.
Not Simple Chili
- 2 pounds ground grass-fed beef (buy it at DC Meats preferably)
- 1 pound loose Italian sausage (buy it at DC Meats preferably)
- 2 15 oz. cans chili beans
- 1 15 oz. can black beans
- 1 15 oz. can chili beans in spicy sauce
- 2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice (or the equivalent in chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 large (or several small) onion, chopped
- 1 leek, chopped
- Corn of two cooked ears or 1 can
- 2 green/red/yellow bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2-3 dried jalapeno/serrano peppers, chopped (based on your heat preference)
- 3-4 sliced of cooked bacon, crumbled (buy it at DC Meats preferably)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup beer (I did home-brewed imperial stout)
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped or crushed
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Handful of fresh basil
- Salt and pepper to taste (start with about 1 teaspoon of each)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook ground beef and sausage until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
- Add all the remaining ingredients. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve.