Chili 2013

I've been making the same chili recipe since January 2007. So, it seems appropriate that I try something new. Although I've modified the recipe to make it my own, it originally belonged to my boyfriend's mom at the time.

Now, I needed my own. And, I think I have it. I'm calling it "Chili 2013".

The weather today in Boston was rather frigid. It was perfect for chili and all day hibernating. After a few cups of coffee, I felt warm enough to make the trek to the market for ingredients. In hindsight, I should have picked these things up yesterday ... but yesterday I was busy recovering from the latest two episodes of Scandal via Netflix. 

I think there are about a million different ways to make chili - and this is pretty different from my old fallback recipe. It isn't super "tomato-y", there aren't a lot of beans, it isn't crazy spicy. Plus there is a beer in here too. I don't normally have beer in my house. Champagne? Yes. Beer? Let me check behind the cheese and Brita filter. So when this recipe requested a beer, I went digging and came out with a Sam Adams Winter ... from last year. I used it. Questionable? Maybe, but I feel like I've seen a million news segments recently about wasted food and how the dates aren't accurate.

You'd think I would have made something a wee bit "lighter" and containing more kale perhaps before the holiday eating begins this week ... but I didn't. Plus, now I have chili leftovers for the freezer and the next few days. Given the forecast for this week... I think I made the right decision.

Here's how it goes.

(Step 1) Add diced bacon into a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook until brown and crispy-ish.

(Step 2) Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. If the bacon hasn't provided enough protection for the onions, feel free to add in some olive oil.

(Step 3) Add in the hot sausage to the pot. You can use the wooden spoon to break it up into smaller bits. Wait for the sausage to cook fairly well (less pink) and then add in the ground beef. Break it up in a similar fashion. 

(Step 4) Add chili powder, cumin, marjoram and thyme. Stir 2 minutes. Mix in diced tomatoes, chicken broth, beer and tomato paste. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 1 hour 15 minutes. 
(Step 5) Mix in beans. Simmer 5 minutes.

(Step 6) Serve! Chili is best with toppings... so don't forget to pick up your favorites. I used a bit of sour cream, shredded cheddar, and finely diced red onion.
Shopping List (loosely inspired by this recipe)
3 pieces of bacon
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound hot italian sausage, removed from the casing
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with the juices
2 cups chicken broth
1 12-ounce bottle beer (think Sam Adams style)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15- to 16-ounce can kidney beans

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