Friday, September 19, 2008

Three-Alarm Chili

The cool breezes of autumn are blowing and that means one thing: my kitchen is open again. I wanted something warm and filling and had a strange craving for chili. It’s a good thing too because I just happened to have a recipe for Three-Alarm Chili put aside to try.

As I was buying the ingredients, I thought to myself that this is a very expensive dish to prepare so it had better be really good. I had so much food that I had to use my largest pot. Then I realized that it makes twelve servings! Note to self: next time, halve this recipe. It will still make plenty but be cheaper and require a smaller pan.

I made a few of changes, one of them inadvertent but rather Freudian. I “accidentally” omitted the corn. I loathe corn so obviously my brain just skipped right over it in the ingredients list. I don’t normally use bottled minced garlic so I wasn’t about to buy it, especially when I had a nice fresh bulb in my fridge already. I substituted a large clove crushed for the bottled variety. I also wasn’t able to find bulk Italian sausage at my grocery store so I bought links and merely removed the skins.

This is one of those rare recipes that tastes even better than it smells while it’s cooking. I didn’t find it overly hot despite the name. “Three Alarm” to me means that my mouth is on fire and eyes are watering, but it wasn’t the case here. This is just a nice, spicy chili. It was great the first day and even better the second day. And the fact that it is easy to cut in half means you can use it for large gatherings or intimate family dinners.

Verdict: Yum!! This one’s a keeper!!

Three-Alarm Chili

2 17-oz. pkgs. Refrigerated cooked beef au jus
2 28-oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped
1 medium red sweet pepper, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. hot chili powder
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp bottled minced garlic
8 oz. bulk hot Italian sausage
½ of a 6-oz. bar milk chocolate or dark chocolate, cut up
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
2 22- to 30-oz. cans chili beans with chili gravy
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Corn chips (optional)

Remove beef from packages and reserve drippings. Chop beef; cover and refrigerate until needed. In 6-quart Dutch oven, combine reserved drippings, tomatoes, onion, sweet peppers, jalapeno pepper, hot chili powder, cumin and garlic. Bring to boiling reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In medium skillet, cook sausage until no longer pink; drain off fat.

Add chocolate to tomato mixture, stirring until melted. Add chopped beef, sausage, corn, and chili beans. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

If desired, top each serving with cheese and corn chips. Makes 12 servings.

Recycle: tomato cans, beans cans, garlic bottle

Compost: onion skins, pepper stems and seeds


Anonymous said...

This is "A"...Instead of using the precooked beef, I wonder whether you could just buy the beef and cook it yourself? Adding some beef stock if necessary?

OldRoses said...

I wondered the same thing myself. I'll have to Google "au jus" to find out what's in it.