Well the days are very unpredictable here in Seattle but that is typical for a Seattle spring. One day can be really nice with sun and some warmth, and the next can be cold and rainy. It’s the cold and rainy days that make me really crave some comfort food and that is why I decided to make my award winning chili. Not to toot my own horn but I have actually won an award for this chili so that’s why I think it’s pretty special. Well and the fact that I am from Texas and chili is kind of a big deal there so I feel pretty proud of that fact. Many Texans would poo poo one essential ingredient that I add however-beans. Traditional Texas chili does not have beans but I think the beans add some extra texture and flavor so it’s a must.
I wrote a few days ago about how I use a dutch oven to slow cook because I broke my crock pot. Actually, the day my crock pot cracked was a day I was making this chili. You see, I cook everything in a really big pan before transferring it to a crock pot. This time though, I had rested the heavy pan with all the contents on the crock pot so that I could use a spoon to scoop it out into the crock pot and-CRACK the hot pan cracked my crock pot. Not my brightest moment but because it was such a silly mistake I have decided to use my dutch oven for a while instead of getting a new crock pot. Maybe when fall rolls around I will change my mind because I love crock pot meals but for now my dutch oven is doing the job.
Anyway, this chili is pretty involved but it’s so good and so worth it. It also freezes well so you can make a big batch and then pull it out when you get a craving. Here’s generally what I do:
Cube your chuck steak, chop your green pepper, onion, pablano pepper, garlic and jalapeno. Put it in a large bowl. Add your sausage. Add 1 table spoon of liquid smoke. Add 3-4 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Now here’s the fun part. Mix it all together with your hands. Make sure you break down all the sausage and get all the flavors really in there. Wrap up your bowl of goodness and stick in the the fridge over night.
When you wake up, start cooking the bowl mixture in small batches until it’s completely brown. Transfer to a crock pot or dutch oven (do not lean your hot pan onto the crock pot!). Add your can of crushed tomato sauce, can of beans and chili powder, cumin and coriander. Add some salt and pepper and let baby cook for hours. Check on it a few times to make sure the flavors are coming together. You may need to add more spices. The longer you let it cook the tastier it will be.
Now if you’re from the south you’ll add some corn bread or some Fritos to your chili while if you’re a yankee you’ll add pasta. Whatever you prefer, serve it up with some cheese and sour cream on top and enjoy!
1 lb of chuck steak
1 tube of breakfast sausage (original not maple or flavored)
1 pablano pepper
2 green peppers
4 cloves of garlic
1 large, sweet onion
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 large can of chili beans
1 tablespoon of liquid smoke
3-4 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
3-4 tablespoons of chili powder
2 tablespoons of cumin
2 tablespoons of coriander