Happy Super Bowl Sunday, y’all.
Regardless of what team wins today, I hope everyone is having a good time deciding what to fix to eat. Because isn’t Super Bowl Sunday the perfect excuse to pig out on all the food that’s bad for us?
I spent the day yesterday making chili. Having a bowl (or three) of flavorful, warm chili while watching the game has become The Super Bowl Tradition at my house. My husband really likes it
to cause intense heartburn spicy-hot; this is the recipe that has evolved over the years.
The first time I made it, one of my sons dubbed it “Mean-Ass Chili” and the name stuck!
Ginger’s Mean-Ass Chili
2 pounds ground chuck
1 pound hot bulk sausage (I use Neese’s)
3 large sweet onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 red pepper and 1 green bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper and 1 – 2 jalapeño peppers, both finely minced
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon each of red pepper, white pepper, and black pepper
1 teaspoon each of cumin and celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
Two 10 oz. cans of Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies
One 15 0z. can diced tomatoes
One 15 oz. can tomato sauce and one 12 oz. can of tomato paste
Two 16 oz. cans of kidney beans, drained (I use one light and one dark)
One 16 oz. can Bush’s hot chili beans, undrained
First, dump the ground chuck into a dutch oven. I use a cast iron one. Let it begin to brown on medium heat.
Next, add in the Neese’s hot sausage and mix it up real good with the ground chuck.
While the meats are browning, chop up your onions. Keep an eye on the meat, stirring it occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
I used these onions from Peru yesterday, but Vidalias are good too.
Three large onions might seem like a lot, but the onions are a crucial part, so don’t skimp. If your onions are small, you can get away with using four or five of them.
I use a food processor to do all the veggies. Not only does it save time, it eliminates the tears from the onions.
Even if your meats are not completely done, go ahead and throw in the onions. Stir them in and allow them to cook to transparent, then drain any grease from the pan.
Chop and add the three stalks of celery. It’s OK to put some of the green leaves in, too.
While the celery is cooking, chop the red and green bell peppers and throw them into the mix.
Next, chop the garlic cloves into tiny pieces and add them.
In the past, I have used chopped poblano and jalapeño peppers, but yesterday I had these homemade canned bannana and jalapeño peppers on hand, so I substituted these instead.
Chili is like that – you can make it slightly different every time and it’s still delicious!
Now add the sugar, the flour and the spices. You can adjust the spices to your taste, but be forewarned; if you follow this recipe to the letter, it’s pretty spicy.
After you get the spices all stirred in – add a beer. You can use canned or bottled and I don’t think it matters what brand. Just use something that you wouldn’t mind drinking.
I used a Blue Moon Pale Ale.
Besides adding a nice flavor, using a beer you like will give you a good excuse to enjoy drinking another one, while you chili is simmering for 20 to 30 minutes, uncovered. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and enjoy the taste of the beer while inhaling the wonder scent of the chili.
After the beer has cooked down some, it’s time to add the tomatoes, the canned chillies, the sauce and the paste.
Stir this mixture well and let it cook for a few minutes. Then you can add the cans of beans. Three cans is about all I have room for in my cast iron pot.
Now put the lid on and let it simmer on the lowest setting for about an hour. Then, remove the lid and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens up – about a half hour more.
Since it is really better after it is re-heated the next day, I generally make mine the day before. It can be heated up in the microwave or gently re-heated on the stove. If it gets a little dry – just add some water, or another beer!
My favorite way to eat it is with saltine crackers and a little Texas Pete sauce. It is very good with cheese melted on top. You can add sour cream, chopped green onions and sliced black olives, too.
And, of course, no Super Bowl bowl of chili is proper without the perfect beverage – ice cold beer!