Cooking has always been a big part of our life, and even when we were young our mother gave us free reign on the kitchen as long as we didn't waste anything. On our farm meat was always a huge part of our diet, and in the winter our mother would always make chili. Nothing warmed the family up better than hot chili on a cold day. As we grew older and started really cooking for ourselves our love for chili has grown immensely, and thus we have developed our own recipe through trial and error. This is that recipe.
*Disclaimer: We like our Chili spicy. Not outwardly spicy like chicken wings, but a spice that burns in your belly and keeps you warm long after you eat it. We carry this Chili in our thermoses backpacking, to work, and into the duck blind. To get the heat level down use less, or omit the Jalapenos and Chili Flakes.
-2 lbs of ground Beef, Bison, or Venison
-1 lbs of ground Spicy Pork Sausage
-2-3 Cloves of Garlic
-2 Whole Jalapenos
-1 Large Onion
-2 cans Red Kidney Beans
-1 can Other Beans (we have used Black, Pinto, and all the others)
-1 can Spicy Rotel
-1 large can Crushed Tomatoes
-1 small can Tomato Paste
-Red Chili Flakes
-Red Pepper or Cayenne Pepper
-Red Wine (you can never go wrong with the 47lb Rooster)
-Hot Sauce (we prefer Valentina)
1-Place all the meat in 1 large frying pan and begin to brown on medium heat. Mix the pork sausage well with the other meats to the fat helps to cook the leaner meats. Keep and eye, and stir often.
2-Mince the Garlic and place in a separate frying pan in a bit of Olive Oil to toast on low to medium heat. Stir often as to not let it burn.
3- Dice the Onion into uniform bits and add to the garlic. The goal here it to sweat the onions, and get them toward the caramelization stage.
4-Dice the Jalapenos into uniform bits and add to the Garlic/Onion mix. Stir everything together and let it all sweat down.
5-Check your meat….it needs a stir. If any of the ingredients in your frying pans appear to be done remove them from the heat until you are ready for them.
6-Start your crock pot on high (just to get it to temperature quicker). You are more than welcome to use a good dutch oven or pot. However, we prefer the crockpot for ease of use, and the fact that it can be left unattended.
7-Add all cans of Beans (undrained) to the crock pot, along with the Rotel, and Crushed Tomatoes, and Tomato Paste.
8-Add a cup or so of Red Wine to the crock pot
9-Add a good amount of Hot Sauce depending on how spicy you would like it.
10-Sprinkle with Red Chili Flakes and Red Pepper, also depending on how spicy you would like it.
11-Sprinkle with Cinnamon. Now cinnamon is an easily overpowering spice. We prefer to have hints of cinnamon as a background flavor, but not have our Chili taste like a snickerdoodle cookie. So use with caution.
12-Mix all this together in the crock pot and judge the consistency. If needed we often fill the Tomato sauce can with water and add to the mix. It all depends on how much wine you added, and how much juice came with your beans.
13-Add from the stove the Meat. We don’t generally like to add too much fat from the meat but that is personal preference, so drain first if necessary.
14-Smash the Tomato then dice into chunks and add to crock pot. (we like larger chunks because they will cook down)
15-Finally, add the Garlic/Onion/Jalapeno mixture.
16-Stir everything together and examine the consistency. We like to cook our chili for at least 8 hours. To do this we like to start with a very wet Chili, then remove the lid toward the end and let moisture escape. To thin it we have used water, more wine (never a bad call), or even more tomato sauce. To thicken use the tomato paste or remove the lid cook more moisture out of it.
17-Turn the crockpot to low and let time do its work. The longer you simmer it all down, the better all the flavors will meld together. After a good cookdown session there should be one uniform flavor across the spoon.
18-Cook as long as you would like or can stand.
19-Serve piping hot with Sour Cream, and Cabot Extra Sharp White Cheddar. If you don’t know what Cabot Cheese is you have done yourself an injustice to this point in your life. Go get some Cabot. Jalapeno corn bread, or a good roll of sourdough, always works well to scrape the bowl clean when you are finished.