Spicy Red Chili

  Spicy Red Chili with Beef and Bell Peppers  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Spicy Red Chili with Beef and Bell Peppers | Image: Laura Messersmith

It’s officially cold here in New York and with football season in full swing I’m ready to put my French oven back into heavy rotation with it’s inaugural batch of chili. If you really put your mind to it I bet you could make a different chili recipe everyday for a year without repeats. (New blog idea anyone?) Everyone seems to have a favorite or a least a strong opinion on what chili should consist of - for example, I’ve heard that Texans won’t truck with anything but all meat. That means no beans, no vegetables, and mostly beef, thanks. Me, being a Yankee and all, I can’t understand why anyone would avoid these ingredients, they’re delicious!

This particular version seeks to please both the carnivores and the health conscious with a blend of lean ground beef, pork sausage, kidney beans and bell peppers in a rich tomato sauce. Top a bowl with some shredded cheese, a dollop of plain yogurt, or if you’re Mike, more red pepper flakes. I will warn you - as the recipe is written it is pretty spicy – the right side of too hot for me, but should come with a warning to the spice adverse. If you have a heat light-weight coming to dinner, I’d recommend backing off on a half teaspoon or two of the cayenne or red pepper.


  Spicy Red Chili with Beef and Bell Peppers     | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Spicy Red Chili with Beef and Bell Peppers | Image: Laura Messersmith

Spicy Red Chili with Beef and Bell Peppers (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
1/2 pound sweet pork sausage, casings removed
3 cups (2 medium) diced yellow onions
2 tablespoons (5 cloves) minced garlic
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
3 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups (3-4 medium) diced red/orange/yellow bell peppers
2 cans (15 ounce) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (29 ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 can (29 ounce) tomato puree
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups water
8 ounces (1 block) shredded Colby jack or Monterey jack cheese
 

Instructions:

Brown the ground beef and sausage in a medium French oven (5.5 quart) over medium heat using a wooden spoon or spatula to combine the meat and break it up into small crumbles. While the meat is cooking, dice the onions into 1/4  pieces and mince the garlic. Once the meat is evenly cooked add the onion and sauté until softened and translucent. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the red kidney beans and dice the bell peppers into 1/2 inch pieces.

Next add the garlic and cook for one minute before adding the seasonings. Stir to evenly combine the chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and black pepper with the meat and onion mixture.

Add the drained and rinsed red kidney beans and the diced bell peppers. Stir to combine with the seasoned meat. Next, stir in the tomato paste and both the crushed tomatoes and tomato puree. Rinse the inside of both 28 ounce cans with 1 cup water each and add the tomato water to the French oven.

Bring the chili to a simmer and then reduce the heat. Simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour stirring periodically to ensure the bottom does not burn and the ingredients are well combined. More time will allow the flavors to develop.

Serve hot with shredded Colby or Monterey jack cheese, plain greek yogurt and earn even more accolades by also baking Cheddar Chive Cornbread….

Small Kitchen Friendly?

Yes, this is a one pot meal my friends! I used my trusty Le Creuset French oven (5.5 quart), a large cutting board, a chef’s knife, wooden spatula, measuring spoons and cups.

  Spicy Red Chili with Beef and Bell Peppers     | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Spicy Red Chili with Beef and Bell Peppers | Image: Laura Messersmith

The Verdict:

My partners in relaxation – Mike and my sister Katherine – deemed Spicy Red Chili the perfect meal to have on a cool November Saturday afternoon. It’s just the thing to whip up when all you want to do is curl up on the sofa in front of the day’s college football games. The spice in this chili mellows a little bit in the fridge and the more time the ingredients spend together the better they get, so make extra the leftovers are just as good, if not better than the first meal. I have a feeling there will be more requests for this recipe as the fall and winter continue!

  Spicy Red Chili with Beef and Bell Peppers     | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Spicy Red Chili with Beef and Bell Peppers | Image: Laura Messersmith