We had our first perfect chili weather last weekend and I made sure we didn’t miss out. I pulled up my original post of this recipe to put the ingredients on my grocery list and oh. my. goodness. The picture. Yikes! The post was written way back in 2008, when I was in my first year of blogging. The write up and photo are atrocious, but the recipe mains my favorite.
I’ve made a few slight adaptations to the recipe over time, namely increasing the spice level. You can certainly cool it down if you’re not a huge spice fan. But just like the first time I made it, I love the extra zip the Italian sausage lends; it’s unlike any other chili I’ve had. Plus, with only one pound of meat in eight generous servings, you’re not going to feel completely weighed down. Instead, you get a bunch of extra protein from three types of beans and a very healthy serving of veggies. Just add plenty of your chosen toppings and I’m sure this chili will be your favorite, too!
My Favorite Chili
adapted from Jamie Deen
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. sweet or spicy ground Italian sausage (I like spicy)
1 TBSP oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 c. chopped celery
2 1/2 TBSP ground cumin
1/4 c. chili powder
1 TBSP dried oregano
up to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 (28-oz.) can low-sodium diced tomatoes, fire-roasted if you can find them
1 (28-oz.) can low-sodium whole, peeled tomatoes
1 (14.5-oz.) can low-sodium pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-oz.) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-oz.) can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, diced onion, cilantro, or any other desired toppings
1. Over medium heat, brown beef and sausage in bottom of a heavy stock pot. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat and set aside.
2. Add oil to pot. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and celery. Sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne, and sauté 2 minutes more.
3. Add tomatoes to the pot and cook until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add in beans and browned meat. Partially cover and let simmer 4 hours. Alternately, transfer all ingredients to a slow cooker and put on low 4-5 hours.
4. To serve, spoon in to bowls and generously top with all your favorites.
Yields: 8 servings