|COLD. (From the earlier polar vortex 3 weeks ago).|
|Three seconds later: "AAAGH! There's snow down my neck!!!"|
|Getting to Lebanon Hills last weekend at 6 am in 4" of fresh snow was a little sporty, but SO WORTH IT.|
|Great day for a run!|
Puts me in the mood for chili. A massive pot of spicy, meaty, rich goodness that gets better every day you reheat it? Epic winter win. It's Whole30 compliant, too, if you use W30-friendly sausage and water or stock instead of wine.
This recipe was originally given to me 25 years ago (damn, I'm old) by a family friend, who swore it was a secret family recipe he'd never before shared. I later found an extremely similar recipe -- just a few minor changes -- in one of the Silver Palate cookbooks, where it's called "Jalapeno Chili." We call it "JM Chili", after my friend who gave me the recipe. It's very meaty, quite spicy if you use all the jalapenos (omit some or all if you don't want that, don't remove the seeds if you want more spicy), and makes a huge batch to last you for many days, or a big party. Divide everything in half if you don't need a lifetime supply, or freeze half of it.
Polar Vortex Chili (serves about 12-16)
1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs ground beef
2 green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1/3-1/2 lb jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch dice
3 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup dry red wine (or water, or chicken stock)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup minced fresh parsley
6 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 tablespoon dried basil, crumbled
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
4 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 can ripe black olives, halved
2 lbs fresh Italian plum tomatoes, quartered (or use another 28 ounce can -- not quite as good but still very decent)
Chopped green onion
Baked sweet potatoes or roasted winter squash
A big green salad
In a large pot, put in the sausages and cook over medium high heat, mashing them up into bite sized pieces, till they're starting to brown. Add the onion and the ground beef and cook till all the water has cooked off and things are starting to brown and sizzle, about 15 min.
Add the garlic and peppers and cook another 10 min or so.
Add the canned tomatoes, wine/water, tomato paste, and herbs and spices. Bring it to a boil, then simmer uncovered for at least 10 minutes.
At this point, you can put the whole thing in the fridge (or out on the unheated porch, if it's cold enough) overnight, and it's even better upon reheating. But if you want to eat it today, simmer it slowly for at least 30 more min. When it's getting close to dinner time, reheat it (if needed) add the olives and fresh tomatoes, and cook another 10 minutes.
Serve with avocado and green onion as toppings.
|... plus ground beef and onions.|
|Starting to smell good.|
|That's a lot of jalapenos.|
|I almost forgot the garlic, but remembered in time to throw it in.|
|This will seem like a LOT of spices. Go with it.|
|Starting to look like chili!|
|Olives and fresh tomatoes as a finishing touch.|
|I ate mine on top of roasted butternut squash, with avocado. SO GOOD.|