Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chili with Sausage and Jalapeno

It feels like it's time. Time for soup making and bread baking and more specifically.... time to try more chili recipes. There are so many recipes out there for chili. They can be 38-ingredient-long labors of love or simple throw-it-in-the-pot kind of recipes. This was one of the straight-forward, classic tomato sauce and cumin types, but with sweet Italian sausage added for a boost of meaty flavor and fresh jalapenos to turn up the heat.

 We both loved this bowl of chili. It's nice and thick (perfect for scooping into a tortilla chip) and has just the right amount of heat....for me, anyway. Someone may have doused his serving with hot sauce....There aren't any beans in this version and we really didn't miss them. I loved the green peppers and the fresh spiciness that the jalapenos added. We may have found  our new favorite chili recipe...until I make the next one on my list, anyway. This is a great "classic" chili, perfect for people like my dad, for instance, who just want the basics. No frills, no experiments, no surprises. Just chili. And that was exactly what I wanted for dinner.

Chili with Sausage and Jalapeno
serves 8
from Bon Appetit

4 T. olive oil, divided
1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 lb. Italian sweet sausages, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes in puree
3 T. chili powder
2 T. cumin
2 T. light brown sugar, packed
1 T. ground black pepper
2 t. dried oregano
2 t. dried basil
pinch cayenne pepper
2 T. lime juice (optional- I left this out; my tomatoes seemed plenty acidic already)
Hot pepper sauce
Grated Monterey Jack cheese
Chopped red onion
Sour cream

Heat 2 T. oil in heavy large pot over hight heat. Add beef and sausage; cook until brown, breaking up with a spoon, about 8 minutes. Transfer meat to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add remaining oil to pot. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapenos and bay leaves. Cook until vegetables are soft, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Return meat to pot. Mix in tomatoes and next 7 ingredients. Simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in lime juice. Season with salt. Serve in bowls, passing condiments on the side.