Thursday, November 9, 2017

Guy's Five-Alarm Chili con Carne with Beef & Sausage

Every year we make our annual batch of Five-Alarm Chili. It's a culinary tradition. A one pot wonder, this recipe makes enough for twelve hungry people, and any leftovers freeze wonderfully well for easy meals during the cold winter months. My husband is the one who actually takes charge of making this robust, full flavoured Five-Alarm Chili, although it can be tweaked for the faint of heart to a three or four-alarm blaze, if necessary. Spanish for 'chilis with meat,' this hearty and delicious Chile con Carne recipe is made with both ground beef and mild Italian sausages, which are sautéed with garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, and herbs then simmered with tomato paste, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley, kidney beans and black olives for about half an hour. Topped with a good dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, grated cheddar cheese, sliced chives and finished with fresh parsley, this is comfort food with a kick. Served with my friend Charles Kirby's Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread, this dish is comfort food at its very best. 

Guy's Five-Alarm Chili con Carne with Beef & Sausage

Serves 12

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 lb yellow onions coarsely chopped
1 lb mild Italian sausages, removed from casings
4 lb ground beef
1 12 oz can tomato paste
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/3 cup ground cumin
4 tbsp chili powder
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 28 oz cans Italian plum tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp chopped fresh dill
4 tbsp chopped parsley
2 16 oz cans red kidney beans, drained
2 5 oz cans pitted black olives, drained

Optional Garnishes:

Greek yogurt
cheddar cheese, grated
chives, finely chopped
parsley, finely chopped

Heat the olive oil in a very large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the sausage meat and ground beef, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until it's well browned. Spoon off as much excess fat as you can and discard. 

Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley and kidney beans. Stir well and simmer, uncovered, for another 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Just before serving, add the olives and simmer for about 5 minutes more to heat through. 
Serve immediately with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a sprinkle of grated cheddar, some chopped chives and parsley. 

Charles Kirby's Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread
Makes 1 large pan or 12 single serving cornbreads

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup creamed corn
2 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1/2 cup canned jalapeno peppers, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Put shortening in a skillet and place in the oven until melted. Alternatively, you could use a muffin pan for single servings. Stir the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then stir the wet ingredients together in another bowl, except the jalapenos. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together, adding the jalapenos at the end. Pour the combined mixture into the heated skillet, or muffin pan, and bake 30-40 minutes, until puffed and golden. This is outrageously good and completely addictive. Cheers Charles!

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