RECIPE: Dad’s Chili

2 lbs. Ground beef 85% lean
1 lb. Italian sausage meat (hot or sweet)
1 packet chili seasoning
3+ chili peppers
1 big tin whole tomatoes. The Italian kind with a nice fat bay leaf swimming in the liquid work great.
1 celery heart
1 big sweet onion (no little bitter ones)
2 tins of beans. 1 GOYA Pinto and 1 Black make a great combo. Kidney Beans tend to be too filling and are disliked by many.
Fresh Garlic clove
Sea or Kosher salt
Chili seasoning
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Breakstone Sour Cream

In a big five-quart pot, throw in your seasoning packet and the un-drained beans. Mash up the tomatoes once lightly in a separate bowl and throw them in. Chop up 4 or 5 stalks of the celery into little “U” shaped chunks and throw them in. Roughly dice up the onion and don’t be afraid if the chunks are big. Press/mush 2 nice garlic buds and throw them in too.

Brown the ground beef in the olive oil over medium high heat, stopping before it gets dry and greasy. When cooking the meat, do not salt or pepper it. Drain it and throw it in the pot.

Brown the sausage meat carefully over less heat to not burn it. Drain off the excess fat and throw it in.

As for the peppers, always get a spare to taste them, so you know what you are working with. If they are not too spicy, just slice them a little lengthwise and throw them in. If they are very hot, slice them open and get the seeds out under a coldwater rinse to avoid nuclear meltdown or bitter chili. If you want to skip the peppers altogether, that is fine; at the end add more chili seasoning to taste.

Fire up the gas under your pot and start stirring. Throw in a couple shakes of your salt. Bring the pot to a vigorous boil, stirring frequently to keep it from burning and cook evenly. After you reach a full, strong boil, turn the heat down to a nice simmer.

Let it simmer for a good 20 minutes. At this point, don’t be shy to add a couple more shakes of chili seasoning to taste.

Serve with shredded cheddar and sour cream on the side.

Chili sits well in the fridge for a couple days and freezes great too!

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