As Fall begins to materialize around us with its vibrant colors, woody aromas, and brisk air, nothing sounds more inviting than curling up on the sofa and enjoying a big bowl of warm chili. Simple to make with just a handful of ingredients, and only limited by your imagination, chili is a satisfying meal, perfect for a cozy night in. There are a multitude of chili recipes available to you — try some out to see what kinds of flavor profiles you like best. Over the years, I tailored my own special chili recipe based on the things I loved the most, plucking the most delicious of ingredients to use. The addition of spicy chorizo and dark beer elevate it to a whole different level, imparting a smoky, robust flavor to the chili. And the joining of both, chili beans, as well as northern beans to the mix offers a variant in texture and color.
Spicy Chorizo, Beef, and Bean Chili
1 lb. chorizo; in its’ original casing (usually ends up being 3 links)
1 lb. ground chuck
2 cans chili beans (I use Eden Organic Chili Beans…they have great flavor)
1 can northern beans
1 jar vegetable juice
1 bottle of dark beer (light beer will also work)
2 stalks of celery, chopped roughly
1 medium yellow onion, chopped roughly
1 pkg McCormick’s original chili seasoning
1/4 t. cayenne pepper (or more if you want it spicier)
1 t. cumin
S & P
Start heating up a large stockpot on medium-high heat. Make a slit down the length of the chorizo sausages to expose the meat and drop it in the pot. Once all the chorizo is in the pot, begin to break them up into bite-size pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until the outside is brown, then set aside in a small bowl. Add the ground chuck to the pot, also breaking it up into small pieces, and seasoning with salt and pepper, cooking until brown. Add the chopped celery and onions to the pot over the ground chuck and season with more salt and pepper (Tip: Really important to season as you go…ensuring all layers are flavorful!) Once the vegetables are beginning to soften, throw the chorizo back into the pot and add the cayenne pepper, cumin, and packet of chili seasonings. Stir the meat and veggies together. Turn the heat up to high and add the chili beans, northern beans, vegetable juice, and beer. Stir everything together and put the lid on it. Once it starts to boil, stir again, and taste for seasonings. At this point you can decide to add more salt, pepper, spice. Cover the pot and lower the heat to simmer. Let simmer with the lid on for 1 hour, stirring every now and again and tasting for seasoning. Then, remove the lid and allow to cook for another 35-45 minutes so some of the liquid can cook off, thereby intensifying the flavor of the chili.
I like to top my chili off with a bit of shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a few nips of green onion. Yum!