Thursday, January 30, 2014

Italian Sausage Chili – Another Super Bowl

It’s been a while since we posted a chili recipe, and what better time than right before the Super Bowl? When it comes to feeding large groups of hungry sports fans frugally, there’s nothing like a big pot of chili. That’s right, more money for beer.

While I’ve added pork to ground beef in chili before, I’ve never tried it with all Italian sausage, and I loved the results. We Italian’d this up even more with cannellini beans and a touch of basil, but other than that, it’s a fairly classic chili (everywhere except Texas and Cincinnati).

Putting basil in chili may sound a little odd, but the sweet, aromatic herb is absolutely perfect with these big, bold flavors, which is why you’ll find it in things like spicy Thai curries and Vietnamese soups. It actually has me thinking about adding coconut milk to a beef chili, along with the basil, but that one is still in the brainstorming stage.

In the video, I mention not to drain the meat after you brown it. This is a common instruction in chili recipes, and is intended to drain off fat, but you also lose lots of flavorful juice. Instead, keep and reduce the juices as you finish browning the meat, and skim the fat off the top later. Everybody wins. I really hope you give this great chili a try soon…like Sunday. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 servings (you can double or triple for larger groups easily):
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 1/2 pounds Italian sausage
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tbsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup tomato puree
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 (12 ounce) cans cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
*plus more water as needed during the two simmering stages
*garnish with sour cream, avocado, red onion, and basil!

27 comments:

Bogdan Budusan said...

when adding the beans, can I use the water from the can/jar of bean?

Bogdan Budusan said...

when adding the beans, can I use the water from the can/jar of beans?

Yara said...

Chef John, try adding one ripe plantain to this recipe, not 100% chili but delicious nonetheless.

cookinmom said...

Mannn...I tryin' this in the pressure cooker! Yummm...

TBG said...

I've also used brats to make chili. Also, if I am using a meat that has too much liquid I'll throw some flour in there while it's browning to help thicken it up. It's nearly impossible to mess a chili up.

Mike said...

As a Texan, I am required by law to inform you that a small amount of tomato is acceptable in chili. Also that's a fine lookin' pork and bean stew you've got there.

Chef John said...

I guess you can add bean liquid, but I like texture better when rinsed.

giagia said...

I'm so making this. I use a potato masher to smoosh up ground meat for chili and stuff. It's very efficient. (The "S" type, not the waffle looking one). Love the basil garnish.

Lauren said...

Hi Chef John I have a more general food question instead of one about your delicious looking italian chili. Are thai red chilis and habaneros about comparable in heat and flavor or should I sub the thai chili for a jalapeno? Thanks.

inchrisin said...

Why is is that soo many times on TV or watching the pros they take a cased sausage and cut it open?? It takes a lot of talent to stuff casing AND it's really expensive. Can't you guys just get this stuff from the butcher by the pound? :)

BTW you're a good man, John, for leaving the tomatoes on the skimpy side. If you added more tomato you'd have spaghetti sauce. Worse yet, you could just go to Wendy's and get a cup of slush.

Brandon said...

Chef John I made this last night and it was amazing!!! My wife and I love spicy and this was borderline too spicy. I will sub some of the hot sausage with more sweet next time. Such a delicious change from the same ole winter stews.

RedRisotto said...

Bogdan,

The left over bean "sludge" is the preservative (water, salt and sugar normally). Sure, you can add it - won't kill you... It will however change the flavour that you have been adjusting along the way. It's not important "nutrients" (unless stuck on deserted island and need every bit of protein etc.) Rinse them so they don't change the flavour in the end.

RedRisotto said...

Bogdan,

The left over bean "sludge" is the preservative (water, salt and sugar normally). Sure, you can add it - won't kill you... It will however change the flavour that you have been adjusting along the way. It's not important "nutrients" (unless stuck on deserted island and need every bit of protein etc.) Rinse them so they don't change the flavour in the end.

RedRisotto said...

Just to add one thing...

Chef John, you are my favourite YouTube "character". I love fun. Food should be fun. If there is a God = you should have a cooking show on a TV network. Yeah, a bit of a man-crush talking here but it's just... brilliant... easy... and FUN.

Patrick Martin said...

Chef John,

I want to thank you for this recipe and all of your hard work. I always look to you for recipes. You are the man! I made this chili today for a chili cook off at work and I had the only empty Crock Pot thanks to your recipe.

YOU ROCK SIR!!

Chef John said...

Thanks!

Patrick Martin said...

Update on my chili cook off. I got 1st Place!!

Thanks Again

crabby said...

Where's the cayenne?

Francesca said...

Hello, how nice your blog and how many little things all by "copy" :-) I have joined your supporters, if you like foul too. Thank you. Francesca.

Jason Smith said...

More finger food, Chef. Pretty Please!!

Al Manfredi said...

Congratulations @ Partick Martin! Chef John creates winning recipes. I once made his guacamole recipe for a best of type of contest and won that. This one sounds great, too.

Peter Sices said...

This chili is amazing!

Anders. said...

This might be a stupid question but here goes: Should I use a mild or a hot Italian sausage?

Best regards from Denmark.

Chef John said...

As I said in the video, I used half hot and half sweet. Use what you like!

kwh1982 said...

Chef John:

I'm making this tonight as the Italian sausage sounds great. I wanted to ask if I can also add a healthy amount of finely crushed dried Pasilla and Ancho Chiles? I usually add this to chili but wasn't sure if it would wreck this dish.

Thanks Chef

McShine said...

I made this yesterday and I gotta say, this is a really nice alternative to the classic chili! And yes, I know it's the middle of august, but it has been rainy and around 15°C (that's 60°F) here in Germany for weeks, so I felt like it was time for some winter food :)

Just one thing though, you shouldn't say that the chili is ready to eat after about an hour of cooking...it gets soo much better if you make it the day before and let it rest overnight!

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Hmmm... me and my finicky lady-friend didn't particularly care for this particular dish. Seems as if there were too many contrasting flavors... fennel and cumin for starters. She called it "fusion-confusion". Hey, at least we tried. Thanks anyways! You're da' best!