Apples and pears; cranberries and pumpkins; soups and so much more. Fall is a wonderful time, especially when it comes delicious food. Of course, you can’t forget about Chili–and while chili may be more suited for a cold winter night, I think it works perfectly for fall. This chili, like so many great dishes that make the south wonderful, is layered with spices and in-turn is quite spicy. Not quite spicy-chili-contest spicy, but it definitely a hold-on-to-your-hat spicy, or a dish that will not go over too well with those who are not spicy aficionados.
Chili was invented right here in Texas many, many years ago–chili con carne is even the official dish of Texas. And even though the exact origins of chili is disputed, the concept has remained pretty much the same. Back then, and even to some purists today, chili is a beanless dish–this came to be thanks to the availability and cheapness of beef in Texas’s numerous cattle towns. I personally think the beans add a nice texture and a little depth to the flavor so I use them, despite what the Chili Appreciation Society says.
I fed this chili to six hungry friends and everyone loved it. I served this chili with corn chips, freshly baked french bread, a sharp cheddar, a spicy cheddar, and sour cream; I let everyone choose their toppings/additions. I had mine with a big pile of sharp cheddar, though I tried some with a sour cream mixed in and that combo was delicious as well. Scooping some chili out with a corn chip was also very tasty, and dipping some french bread in the chili was a treat. So, I’ll give you the recipe for the chili and let you decide how you serve it.
Oh, and did I mention this is one of those kitchen-sink chilis. It has a lot–and I mean a lot–of ingredients. So hold on to your hat and get ready to take copious notes. Of course, if you have a printer, you may just want to click print and save yourself the time. But dont worry, aside from having an entire pantry of ingredients, making it is pretty simple.
1 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 serano, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 lb chili meat (80/20 ; protein/fat)
1 1/3 lb ground chuck (80/20)
12 oz Chorizo, removed from the casings
3 strips bacon, chopped & pan fried
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Cholula hot sauce
1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
2 teaspoons Tabasco-Habeñero hot sauce
8 oz tomato paste
1 30 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 30 oz can ranch-style beans
1 15 oz can chili beans
2 1/2 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, jalapeño, serrano, and celery and saute until tender for about 7 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add all the spices (cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, crushed red pepper and cinnamon) and cook for another minute or two.
4. Add all the meat, minus the bacon, and cook until browned.
5. Add the cooked bacon, worcestershire sauce, three hot sauces, tomato paste, tomatos, beans, beef broth and bay leaves. Stir until well mixed.
6. Bring the chili to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for two hours.
8. After an hour, using a spoon, smash apart the tomatos if you used whole tomatoes. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
9. After the total two hours taste the chili again and add salt & pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and serve.
Allowing the chili to simmer for two hours will help break down the fattiness in the meat, making it tender, and will also help meld all the flavors. As many aficionados will say, the longer you simmer chili the better it will taste; some people will even say you must refrigerate the chili overnight before serving. I say two hours should be just fine!