One of my all-time favorite things about Fall is chili. It’s such a perfect way to bring in the season, piled up watching football, drinking the new Octoberfest from a local brewery. I love everything about it.
I actually got the original recipe from one of my best girlfriends, so thank you, Kristi! We’ve tweaked and added to it over the past year making our own version of our favorite Fall recipe. We’ll probably continue to change it depending on the day, but here’s where it stands now.
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 slices of bacon, chopped
- Italian sausage – we just took two out of the pack of sausages, but you could easily double that
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- Two packs of French’s Chili-O mix (or your own chili seasoning mix if you’ve managed to perfect your own… we’re still working on that one)
- 1 c. water (could use wine or beer)
- 4 cans of beans (we go with 2 kidney, 1 white kidney, and 1 black beans can)
- 3 tsp. of sugar
- 1 c. corn
Toss bacon pieces into a large saucepan over medium-low heat. When bacon has crisped, remove pieces setting aside for later leaving bacon grease in the pot. Remove sausage from casing and crumble in the saucepan. Turn heat up to medium-high. When sausage has browned, add the onion and garlic. Cook until onions are slightly translucent. Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for another minute. Here’s where you could add a splash of wine or beer if you’d like. We opted for a Pumpkin Ale since that’s what we were drinking at the time. Otherwise, add the cup of water.
Now it’s just a matter of dumping cans. Add all the tomatoes, sauce, corn, and beans. Add the two packs of chili seasoning mix and the sugar. Don’t forget to add your bacon bits back in! Cover and simmer on low heat for an hour or so… or until you get so hungry smelling it that you can hardly stand it any longer.
We ended up adding more chili powder to kick up the heat a bit. And the Mister, unbeknownst to me, added some ground cloves (about 1/2 tsp) to play off the Pumpkin Ale he’d added earlier.
Serve hot with shredded cheddar, sour cream, green onions, and if you’re crazy hungry like us… Fritos!