Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Today's Forecast , A Bit Chili - Range Recipe of the Week

It's not been in the single digits but with winds up to 50 mph earlier this week the chill was definitely in the air.  A perfect time for chili.  This recipe was posted a couple years ago when it won a chili cook off at work but it seemed like a good idea to make it again and share with my new readers.  

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", so 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 unsweetened chocolate.

The Penzey's Chili 9000 spice is available on line and it really makes this recipe, so it's worth getting.  It has all kinds of things in it aside from straight chili powder.   For IN residents there is a Penzey's store on the Northeast side of the city and there are more popping up all across the country.

4 -15 oz cans Glen Muir tomato sauce (yes, it's in the hippie/organic section and WELL worth it)
2 -  28 ounce cans chopped, diced or stewed tomatoes, or any combination thereof
2 cups roughly diced sweet onions
1 heaping tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 pound Applewood smoked thick cut peppered bacon, cooked until done but not 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 breakfast sausage
4 cans kidney beans - drained and rinsed  well (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
1/3 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  (I've used  venison or beef and a mix of both and won every time) separately and drain well. Saute the onion separately from the beef in just a bit of olive oil and just a DROP of honey so it caramelizes. Mix meat and onion  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. Serve with corn bread or Cheddar Garlic Biscuits. (new link!)

Though tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  For those of you who, unlike me, aren't celebrating the day with "sploody" things already,  you might want to roast him or her a chicken or something.