We aren’t those people. Halloween is usually when we officially start to celebrate chili season.
I don’t know what y’all do where you’re from, but in Tennessee we celebrate chili. You can’t swing a cat around here without hitting a chili cook-off.
That being said, I would like to say that our chili took a respectable 2nd place in the chili cook-off here.
We eat mostly Paleo, so I usually leave the beans out unless we’re trying to win a contest and the masses thank me for that, however, many feel like it’s not really chili without beans, and for those people I say godspeed. And I included beans in the recipe.
Feel free to put them in or leave them out- it’s whatever you and your colon prefer.
One thing that has made all the difference in how many awards my chili wins is the quality of spices and the darkness and quality of the beer. First, I don’t like beer. AT. ALL. However, in chili it adds richness and doesn’t even hint at tasting like beer. Second, don’t buy spices in tin boxes at the grocery store. Just don’t. Trust me on this one. We have a spice shop about five minutes from our house, but if that isn’t a possibility for you- go online. Trust me, it’s worth the time.
- 2 pounds ground beef (I use ground sirloin, but bison or turkey would work too)
- 1 pound hot breakfast sausage
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4-6 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons cumin
- 3 tablespoons hot chili powder
- 28 ounces of tomatoes (I use the ones I canned from the garden, but just buy a can and chop them)
- ¾ cup chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 12 ounce DARK beer
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 teaspoons of pepper (to taste)
- 2 cans of chili beans (or kidney, or black, or whatever kind of bean you want) OPTIONAL
- Put the ground beef, sausage, garlic, and onion in a large pot and brown. Drain the fat and add the remaining ingredients.
- Cook on medium high for 5 minutes and then turn down and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Once the alcohol from the beer has had time to cook off (about 5 minutes), I usually put it in a slow-cooker on low for an hour or so and then on warm. That allows me to make it early and then enjoy football or a good book until it's dinner time.