My sweetheart-- let's call her Rainbow Brite-- had her sister in town last week, so we did a little cooking. RB's sister asked me what was my favorite thing to cook, and I said chili. It's a true American art form, like blues, barbecue, and silly t-shirts.
She said that she would like to try my chili, so I cooked some up on Saturday night and we enjoyed it with quesadillas. She then asked for a recipe, which I sent her by email. Here's the report:
Just ate dinner. Jeremy said, "This is easily the best chili you've ever made." :)
And as I rejoiced in having spread my meaty gospel, my thoughts turned (like Lehi) to my loved ones. Since this is the first time I've written the recipe down in several years, I thought I should share it with you, my imaginary readers. It's not the only way I make it, but it's probably the easiest version. Enjoy!
House of Payne Quick and Easy Chili
2-3 pounds lean (90% or better) ground beef
1 pound pork sausage (bulk sausage, not links or patties)
1-2 medium sweet onions, chopped smallish
2-3 cans (15 oz.) beans (pinto, black, or small red)
1 can (15 oz.)stewed tomatoes (or diced)
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped fine
1/4 cup brown sugar (or more if you like)
Spices: salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg,
cayenne (optional), cilantro (optional), oregano (optional).
Brown the pork sausage in a large pot. Do not drain. Add the beef and brown. Turn the heat down to medium-hot and keep it there. Shake on salt and pepper until it tastes good. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic. Shake on chili powder until it's pretty much all red. And add a little cayenne if you want-- about a half a teaspoon, I think.
(You can also do this using stew beef. Just substitute it for ground beef, follow all the above steps, and then put it in a crock pot and cook it for about 6 hours or until it completely falls apart. Then proceed with the recipe as follows.)
Add beans (no need to drain them, but you can if you like). Add cumin to taste-- maybe like a teaspoon or a half a teaspoon. Stir in the brown sugar. Add a tiny, tiny pinch of cinammon, and an equal amount of nutmeg. You don't need hardly any. Stir in tomatoes. Add a can of water or two if you want it thinner. And again, salt to taste. (Wait until it's almost done before you add the oregano and cilantro-- and don't use too much.)
Cook until hot and then serve with a sharp cheddar or some real sour cream. (You can also just turn it down to simmer for another half hour or an hour. This helps the flavors marry, but it's not essential if you don't have a lot of time.)
It takes about 20-30 minutes start to finish. Good luck, and bon appetit!
You're welcome! (And let me know how it turns out!)
--GILBERTO "TURK" BENITEZ