Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Range Chili

This makes one large crockpot full (about 20 regular sized bowls). For the smaller crockpots or less servings, simply cut in half. It's got a hint of sweet, a bit of smoky and has just the right amount of "hot", that those that like mild will still eat it and those that like zippy won't be bored. The surprise ingredients, a little bit of cola and some dark unsweeted chocolate.

The Penzey's Chili 9000 spice is available on line. It's worth getting it as it really adds something. For IN residents there is a Penzey's store on the Northeast side of the city and there's a couple in Ohio as well as I have gotten the spice as gifts from that area.

2 29 ounce cans tomato sauce
2 28 ounce cans chopped, diced or stewed tomatoes, or any combination thereof
2 cups diced onions
1 heaping tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 pound Applewood smoked thick cut peppered bacon, cooked until done but not too crispy and then chopped into bite sized pieces.
3 pounds burger or venison (lean as you can get it)
2 pounds Jimmy Dean or Bob Evans spicy sausage
4 cans kidney beans - drained and rinsed (canned beans have a LOT of sodium)
1 bottle (about 18 ounces I think) Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup Penzey's 9000 chili seasoning
1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon crushed red pepper
approx. 3/4 cup Coca Cola (yes, and not Pepsi and certainly not diet), use the Mexican Coca Cola in glass bottles made with sugar, not corn syrup if you can find, Costco often has it.
2 individually wrapped squares Baker's unsweetened dark chocolate, finely chopped (each square breaks into two pieces so it's pretty easy to chop up).

Cook the meats separately and drain well. Saute the onion in with the burger so that it caramelizes. Mix in with rest of ingredients adding the dark chocolate last. Cook in the crockpot on high about 2 hours, or on low 4-6 as as desired.

I've never seen anyone not eat a second bowl of this.


  1. Thanks, Brigid, it was delicious!

  2. I finally got around to trying this recipe, and it was a resounding success with the whole crowd. I will definitely be repeating this one, thanks!

  3. I used this recipe and won our "McCarran International Airport Annual Chili Cook-off." Everyone loved it. I made 1.5 gallons of it, and was scraping the bottom of the crockpot in less than two hours. Thanks so much Brigid!

  4. kevinwcox - awesome. I won a cookoff today done for a local charity with it. We raised several hundred dollars for the local Salvation Army and there was not a DROP of my chili left.

  5. Brigid,

    The recipe has won another contest. I entered it in a fund raiser at my wife's niece's church and brought home first place. The second place winner was not a happy camper as he had fully expected to win until the "ringer" showed up. Since it was a fund raiser I donated the prize money back to the church.

    Got a picture of the blue ribbon I'd be happy to send you if you'll let me know your email address.


  6. Congratulations Don! - yes, indeed this has one some awards. I'm glad I wrote it down. The year prior I had made a chili that also won our office chili cookoff and everyone asked me for the recipe and I had to say "I had a Guinness and just threw it together, I don't remember everything that went in it." THIS one I wrote down.

    Thanks for the offer of the picture but I don't post my email address, but thank you so much and congratulations again!


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