The favorite chili recipe from our family cookbook, made with simple but beautifully balanced ingredients. The technique is simple too, just brown the ground beef and spicy pork sausage, dump everything else in, then cook slowly. A cousin calls my sister's sausage chili recipe 'magnificent'! I agree – it's now my own go-to recipe for hearty, man-friendly chili.
In 2003, my family on my mother’s side published a family cookbook, collecting 350 recipes from more than a dozen families and three countries. What a collection of tried-and-true family recipes!
Still, some times a great recipe is overlooked until someone saves the day, as happened when Cousin Ingrid wrote, “Before the Super Bowl, you must tell your readers about the wonders of your sister's Crockpot Chili. It's absolutely magnificent and would make a great Game Day meal.”
So for anyone with a pot of chili in Super Bowl plans, this is my sister’s magnificent chili. It takes just a few minutes to cook the meat and sausage, then throw the rest into the slow cooker – yes, those onions and peppers go straight in, raw, and the results are great.
Another tip from my sister: chili served with – preferably over – homemade cornbread is one of her teenage boys’ favorite things to eat. I’m willing to bet they’re not alone.
Time to table: 7 – 24 hours
Makes 6 cups
- 1 pound hamburger
- 1 pound spicy pork sausage (a key ingredient, don't skip!)
- 1 large onion, chopped in big pieces (see TIPS)
- 1 sweet bell pepper, red or green, chopped big
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped big, optional
- 2 ribs celery, chopped big
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 15 ounces canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 6 ounces tomato paste (don't skip, it really adds)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
Brown meats in a skillet, don't be afraid to let a little 'burn' form on the meat pieces, it adds flavor and texture. While the meat cooks, add the remaining ingredients to a crockpot or Dutch oven. When it's cooked, drain the excess fat off the meat, add to the pot and stir well to combine.
CROCKPOT Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 – 10 hours. Best served the second day.
OVEN Bring to a boil on the stove, then cover and cook at 250F for 5 hours, stirring occasionally. Great on the first day, especially if cooked early in the day.
STOVETOP My sister says her chili can be cooked on the stovetop, just make sure your stovetop can hold a slow simmer.
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