The holidays are my favorite time of the year. For real – not just quoting that song. It’s so happy. All the lights, the ornaments, the trees: everyone just seems to be in the best, most giving moods. I always hate that first week in January when we take down the Christmas tree and the place where it sat looks so barren and dark.
I also love when it gets cold. Not that I really know cold being born and raised in San Diego, California. But this is about as close to cold as we get. Oh how I wish I could have a white Christmas. I better keep dreaming though…that will never happen. At least not while I’m still celebrating at home. All you people who complain about the snow and cold, let’s switch. Please? I love cold. You love hot. Let’s just switch. It’ll be fun. Just hit me up. We’ll work it out. K? K. Perfect.
So, even though it’s the holidays and I feel like everyone’s blogs are being bombarded by cookies and other holiday treats, I’m not doing that. Yet…I’m sure I’ll have some holiday cookies up here soon enough. For now though, I’m going to share my favorite chili recipe. Chili is one of my favorite soups, but I have a very sensitive palate and I just can’t handle hot foods…so I make my own. The recipe I’m providing isn’t too hot, but you can feel free to adjust the chili powder or add some jalapenos or something to suit your taste. This chili really is amazing though. So many complex flavors with a good, chunky texture but a smooth yumminess that’s only found in homemade chili. Perfect for those cold winter nights. Yum yum yum. Try this recipe on your next snowy night – you’ll love it.
Oh, and please don’t be scared of the huge ingredient list. You probably already have most of it and it’s really just a lot of spices.
The Best Chili
- 2 pounds ground beef chuck
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, mild
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in mild sauce
- 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4 cubes beef bouillon
- 1 cup beer
- 1/8 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease. In a different pan, cook the bacon until crispy. Crumble and add to stock pot. Cook the onion and peppers in the bacon drippings for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add to the stock pot.
- Pour in the drained chili beans, mild chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the bouillon and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. Top with cheese and onion if desired.