It’s big. It’s bold. It’s… ultimate. This chili is jam packed with everything. You better have a big appetite, and a big couch to plop down on after a heaping serving of this chili.
Here we are, at the end of our four week chili series. As you know by now, this is Jason filling in for Alpana during this series. I have served up three delicious chilis so far, but wanted to save the big one for last.
What makes this one ultimate? It has so much stuff. Three meats. Three beans. Tons of garlic and tomato. Heaps of spices. You’re going to need a big pot to contain these flavors.
- Ground beef – To make it thick and hearty.
- Stew meat – Nice big chunks to bite into.
- Smoked sausage – I love that flavor.
- Beans – Let’s go with three, to match the meats. Kidney, black and great northern.
- Onion – Because it’s obligatory.
- Garlic – Tons of it.
- Diced tomatoes and tomato paste – Gotta have those in there.
- Beef broth – For extra volume and flavor.
- Spices – Chili powder, cumin powder, oregano, black pepper.
- Jalepenõ – For a little kick.
- Brown sugar – For a little balance.
- Salt – To taste.
How to make Ultimate Chili
Here I am going to highlight the stovetop method, but you can find slow cooker and instant pot methods in the recipe card.
This one will require a few extra steps, as the meats are of a very different nature. But first, we need to chop that onion, garlic and jalepenõ. Heat some oil in a large (I am using 7 quart) dutch oven over medium high heat. Add those chopped veggies and sauté for 5 minutes.
Now on to the meats. We are going to start with the stew meat, as this requires the most cooking. Toss it in the pot and sauté until it is starting to brown. Then in goes the diced sausage. This comes already cooked, so we are just browning it up a bit for depth of flavor. Once browned, use your spoon to push everything to the perimeter of the pot and add the ground beef to the middle. If you desire, you can remove everything and set aside while the ground beef cooks, but that just makes extra dishes to wash. Stir and cook the beef until cooked through.
Hard part over. Add all of your remaining ingredients and give a good stir. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered. You can get by with 30 minutes, but I like to give it a good hour. This gives the stew meat time to get nice and tender. Taste occasionally and add salt depending on your preference.
How to serve
As I have said before, I consider cornbread a must. Now, let’s get a little more specific. If you’re not from the South, you may not know that cornbread can be a touchy subject. Sweet or savory? If you are steadfast in your preference, no problem. I grew up in a divided household. My dad liked sweet and my mom savory. So I grew up with, and like, both. For this particular chili, I think sweet goes best. The flavors are so big and so bold that I find the sweetness gives a nice balance. Your choice though. Just make sure you have some kind of cornbread.
A side salad is good too. Again, a sweet dressing pairs well with this chili.
Toppings… well, the usual suspects here. Shredded cheese, sour cream, diced cilantro, diced green onions, jalepenõs, avocado. Take your pick. What the heck, we already put everything we could fit in the chili, why not put everything on top? I hope you have a big enough bowl!
- Does this make good leftovers? If you have been following along with this series, you already know the answer. If not, absolutely! In fact, it tastes even better as leftovers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in an airtight container 3-4 months. It may be a bit thick when you heat it back up, so just add a little water to get your desired consistency.
- I prefer dried beans, can I use those? Certainly. For this recipe you will need 1 pound of dried beans. Be sure to plan ahead, you will need to soak them and cook according to the package before adding them to your chili.
- Can I make this without red meat? I suppose you could. Replace the stew meat, sausage and ground beef with poultry products. The end result would be quite different, but I’m sure it would still be tasty. If you try it, I would probably recommend cooking the chicken chunks separately and adding towards the end, you don’t want them to fall apart (a lesson we learned some time back).
- Can I make this vegetarian? No. Try my vegetarian black bean chili instead.
And thus ends our chili series, let us know which one was your favorite. It’s been fun, hopefully Alpana will let me post again every now and then. See you around!
The Ultimate Chili, in our Gypsy Bowl… enjoy!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb beef stew meat
- 1 14oz smoked sausage
- 3 15.5 oz cans of beans (kidney, black and great northern)
- 3 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 onion
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 jalepenõ
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- 4 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp cumin powder
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Salt, to taste
- Heat oil in large dutch oven (I used 7qt) over medium high heat.
- Chop onion, garlic and jalepenõ. Add to dutch oven and sauté 5 minutes.
- Add stew meat, sauté until browned.
- Dice sausage into 1/2 inch slices and add to pot. Sauté until slightly browned.
- Move everything to perimeter of pot and add ground beef to middle. Stir regularly and cook until cooked through.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Bring to low boil and simmer 1 hour. Adjust salt to taste.
Slow Cooker Method
- Follow steps 1-5 from stovetop method.
- Add all ingredients to slow cooker and mix well.
- Cook 7-8 hours on LOW, or 4-5 hours on HIGH.
Instant Pot Method
- Set Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add oil and once heated add onion, garlic and jalapeno. Stir and cook 5 minutes.
- Add stew meat and cook until browned. Add sausage and cook for a few minutes to brown.
- Move meats to perimeter, add in ground beef. Break with wooden spoon and cook, stirring, until browned.
- Add remaining ingredients. Set Instant pot to Chili/Beans mode. Seal lid, cook for 20 minutes.
- Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before opening.
- Garnish with your favorite combination of shredded cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, cilantro, jalepenõs and green onions.
- Serve with cornbread and a salad.
- Refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze in airtight container for up to 4 months.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 445Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 109mgSodium 1062mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 5gSugar 10gProtein 37g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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