With Winter having returned for one final (hopefully) encore here in Northern California this week, it’s still good weather for hearty chili. And this is one of my favorite recipes. It’s relatively healthy, and not too involved to make. There are quite a few ingredients, and some chopping required, so I like to prepare all my ingredients ahead of time. I like to do what the TV chefs do and set them out – in order of appearance – next to the stove so that they are ready to go when I need them. Small glass bowls, ramekins or custard cups work very well for this.
1/2 lb. hot turkey Italian sausage
1 pound ground sirloin
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 cups Zinfandel or Merlot
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, diced, with their juice
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Sharp cheddar cheese, cilantro and scallions to top each serving
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage, sirloin, and the next four ingredients (through jalapeño) to pan; cook 8 minutes or until sausage and beef are browned, stirring to crumble.
Add chili powder and the next 7 ingredients (through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and black beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese, scallions and cilantro.
Makes about eight servings.