I’ve got a lot of secret ingredients that make this chili out of this world, but my biggest secret is tasting it along the way. If it’s getting too spicy, I add more sugar. If it’s too sweet, I add more heat. It’s all about finding the right balance of ingredients and the only way to really do that is to taste it. I’m also notorious for just using whatever I have of hand. Leftover taco beef? Sure, throw it in the pot! Only have frozen peppers or canned tomatoes? Totally okay! Use what ya got! This is my basic chili recipe and then some of the substitutions I used this time are in parenthesis.
- 1 pound ground beef
(I added 2 hot chicken sausage links, casings removed)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 to 8 peppers, chopped
(I used a combination of bell, banana, jalepeno and poblano)
- 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
(I used 4 fresh diced tomatoes and 1 can of crushed)
- 1 to 3 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons hot Mexican chili powder
- 1-1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 1-1/2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon parsely
- 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
(I used 1 teaspoon Apple Pie Seasoning)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine
- salt and pepper to taste
Notes: If you use lean beef or turkey be sure to add 1 tablespoon of olive oil when browning. If you like it spicy, but don’t have any hot peppers, add up to 3 tablespoons of hot sauce (I use Frank’s) to give your chili heat.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, cook the beef and sausage until browned. Add the onions, garlic and peppers and cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cover. Simmer over medium low heat for 1 hour. After 1 hour, taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.