This is what happens when you think you've lost your chili recipe and hanker for something more substantial than the stuff from a can. Enjoy!
Cooking time: 5-6 hours
Serves: So many you should probably half this thing!
2/3 lb. Red beans
2/3 lb black beans
1 lb bacon
1 lb chorizo
1 lb andouille sausage
2 lbs ground beef
3 lbs onion
2 bell peppers
2 poblano peppers
4 jalapeno peppers
4-6 cloves of garlic
12 oz “Homemade Chili sauce” or substitute (eg. Ketchup)
3 15oz cans of tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 cup of sun dried tomatoes
1 cup water/chicken broth
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cumin
3 tablespoons “essence” (You have the recipe, right?)
as many hits of Tabasco as you need
This recipe was cobbled together as I lost my old recipe many years ago. (Many, many years ago.) And I can't remember what I did with my new recipe. (I’m old.)
Start the night before by soaking your beans. Some people say you don’t have to but what’s the deal? It takes five minutes. Just put them in a bowl full of water and put it somewhere safe from pets, bugs, and alien creatures.
Cooking day begins with bacon – and what better way to begin the day? Cook it up, drain it, and let it cool. Also, grill your peppers – your bells, your poblanos, and your jalapenos. Once they’re cool, peel and seed them and clean them up. Put them aside with your bacon. You’ll have fun with those later.
Begin making the chili by browning your ground beef and andouille sausage. Drain off the fat and put aside. Then, brown the chorizo. I can never really get chorizo to brown but do your best. You’ll want to do this in a really, really large pot – you’re going to be making a lot of chili here. When browning your meat, it’s a good time to add some of that essence. Once that’s browned, add the onions. Take your time on a low, even heat to wilt down your onions. Once that’s done, add your beef and andouille sausage to the pot.
At this point, you’ll have big pot of seasoned meat and onions. You could start making meat burritos but let’s continue making chili. Add your canned tomatoes – I like to take a hand mixer to puree the suckers a bit – along with your tomato paste. If you can get ahold of one of those little jars of “Homemade Chili Sauce” that comes in a little 12 ounce jar, good for you! Empty that into the chili. If you can’t, ketchup is one substitute… but it doesn’t come close. Also add your chicken broth now (or water if you don’t have broth).
Things are getting a bit soupy so add your beans - making sure to toss your reserve “bean water” first. Also, toss in your garlic. I like lots of garlic so I probably exceeded the six cloves. That’s just me.
Now, pull out your bacon (watch it!), peppers, and sun dried tomatoes. With your favorite cooking sheers, you can just clip these up into little pieces over the pot! Finish off with the black pepper (I like to use a coarse ground for long simmers), red pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin, and whatever essence you have left. This is going to make things a bit spicy so you might want to add half now and half later. Me? I put in WAY MORE!
Bring this to a good boil, then let it simmer. You’ll want to cook this for at least 5 hours, more if you can arrange it. Give the beans time to cook. Also the longer you let something like this cook, the better it gets.
Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, chips, whatever, and eat!