Spicy Homemade Chili with Honey-Buttermilk Cornbread
Miracle of miracles, I’ve managed to put aside pumpkin for the week! The temperatures have finally dropped slightly here in Southern California, providing the perfect opportunity to try my hand at one of my favorite fall comfort foods – spicy homemade chili with cornbread.
For reasons unknown, I’d never attempted to make homemade chili before this weekend. I scoured the Internet for the best of the best recipes, and finally selected Boilermaker Tailgate Chili from allrecipes.com. Holy cow, what a find!! This recipe is fantastic – easily one of the best bowls of chili I’ve ever had – and is easy to make, in spite of the lengthy ingredients list. I omitted several (including the bell peppers and onions), but found the chili to be very spicy regardless. The longer you allow the pot to simmer over low heat, the spicier the chili becomes. Between 3 and 3 1/2 hours was ideal for my boyfriend and I!
Now, a word on the cornbread. I LOVE cornbread. I’ve tried every conceivable type of cornbread known to man or woman, and this recipe is HANDS DOWN the best. It has the rare combination of perfect flavor (not too sweet, not too bland) and perfect consistency (not too cake-like, not too dry). I can’t imagine a better accompaniment to this spicy chili. Buon appetito!
SPICY HOMEMADE CHILI
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
3 (15-ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks fresh celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded + chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded + chopped
2 green chili peppers, seeded + chopped
1 tbsp bacon bits
4 cubes beef bouillon
½ cup beer
¼ cup chili powder
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp white sugar
Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, to serve
1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with shredded Cheddar cheese.
Makes: 9 servings
½ cup butter
1 tbsp clear honey
2/3 cup white sugar
2 fresh eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
2. Melt butter and honey in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.