When you’re trying to please the whole family with dinner, this chili is a sure fire way to bring everyone to the table. It’s full of delicious vegetables, loaded with savory meats, and packs a bit of a punch with its rich and fiery blend of spices. It’s good enough to become your go to recipe for chili, and it’s easy enough to make again and again. Best of all, it’s totally customizable, so you can play around with different veggies and meats, and try it milder or hotter depending on your taste preference.
This week’s dish: Spicy Beef and Sausage Chili
Why we like it:
This chili isn’t just a meat lover’s paradise. While the bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes provide your serving of vegetables, the kidney beans are the real super hero. Not only are they high in many vitamins and minerals, they are also an excellent source of protein and cholesterol-lowering fiber.
1 tbsp. oil
1 large onion, diced
2 red bell peppers
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
3 tbsp. mild chili powder (use ½ of amount if hot)
2 tsp. paprika
3 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 lb. lean ground beef
4-6 pork sausages, casings removed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 beef stock cube + 1 cup water
14.5 oz. can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
15 oz. can kidney beans
10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
2 squares dark chocolate
salt and pepper, to taste
To start, peel and chop your onion into small squares.
Cut your bell peppers in half, remove the stalk and seeds, and cut into small squares. You can simply use two red peppers, or you can use one each of red and orange (or yellow) for a bit more color in your chili.
Peel and finely mince your cloves of garlic.
Heat your oil in a large pot over medium for 2-3 minutes until it’s hot. Add your onions and cook them for about 5 minutes until they are soft and slightly translucent.
While the onions are cooking, measure out your spices. You can always use less to start and add more as you go, depending on your heat and flavor preference.
Next, add your garlic and red pepper to the onions, as well as the chili powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. If you don’t want your chili to be spicy, simply leave out the cayenne pepper. Stir well and let cook for another 5 minutes or so.
While the vegetables are cooking, prepare your sausage. Peel the casings off and cut into bite sized pieces. Add them to a frying pan over medium high heat and stir occasionally so they don’t burn. You can use normal pork sausages, or, if you really like heat, try spicy Italian sausages, or even a combination of the two!
Add your ground beef to the pot and turn the heat to medium high so it will fry and brown. Keep stirring while it cooks, breaking it into small lumps so there aren’t any large chunks of beef.
Once the sausages pieces are cooked and golden brown around the edges, add to the pot of chili mixture.
Now onto the sauce! Combine one beef stock cube and 1 cup of hot water and stir well to dissolve the cube. Pour into the ground beef mixture.
For the rest of the sauce, add one can of chopped tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of tomato purée, and season with salt and pepper.
Now add your dark chocolate. It may seem strange, but it will add a rich hint of sweetness to the chili that you’re sure to love!
Stir the chili well. Bring to a boil and then cover with a lid and turn the heat down to medium low so it can simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot. If it doesn’t seem to have enough liquid, add a few tablespoons of water so it doesn’t dry out.
While the chili is simmering, drain and rinse your kidney beans, and chop up your mushrooms. The mushrooms will reduce in size once cooked, so you don’t have to worry too much about chopping them too finely unless you prefer really small pieces.
After simmering, add the kidney beans and mushrooms to the chili. Bring to a boil again and let it gently bubble, uncovered, for 10-20 more minutes until the kidney beans and mushrooms are soft. If there is too much liquid, sprinkle a few teaspoons of flour on top and stir in well so the sauce will thicken. Taste the chili and season again with salt if necessary.
Turn the heat off, put the lid back on, and let the chili stand for about 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors and spices to properly mingle. Serve the chili with a dollop of sour cream and some crusty bread for dipping.