Monday, November 7, 2011

Chili: It’s good for what ails you

Chili is another one of those comfort foods that we start craving this time of year. It just hits the spot and makes you feel good, even after your loving husband kicks you in the head. Now hold on…before you alert the authorities, let me assure you that it was an accident. And now that a few days have passed, we’re laughing about it. 

It all started when we were watching a movie where one of the characters (a rather well-built Ryan Gosling) was doing push-ups against a wall while doing a handstand. Since I like to dish it out whenever I possibly can, I started teasing Andy that there was no way he could do even a single push-up while upside-down. He assured me that he could, and many of them. After several minutes of banter, he decided to prove it to me. It all went downhill from there... 

You see, Andy thought I was standing farther back than I was. I was planning to help him turn upside-down against the wall, therefore standing RIGHT BEHIND his legs. He kicked out to propel himself upwards and with quite a bit of power nailed me square in the jaw. The kick was hard enough that I flew backwards against the wall with such force that I now have a huge bruise on my backside. Then there was collapsing to the floor, lots of wailing, a worried dachshund, and a very concerned husband. 

When I finally stopped sobbing and took some aspirin for my splitting headache, I began to worry that I might get a black eye. Although Andy assured me that a kick to the jaw shouldn’t produce a black eye, I proceeded to ask him about every fifteen minutes if I was bruising. And even though I know he was tired of me asking, he played along nicely since he had just kicked me in the head (ahem!). The next morning when we woke up it was the first question out of my mouth. After much consideration he said, “it’s either black eyes or you have really dark circles.” Well, that’s a relief…my dark circles are bad enough to be mistaken for black eyes, thank you very much. 

So, in the end, I did not get black eyes, but do have a very sore jaw. And I think the most important thing to note here is that Andy still has not performed a push-up while doing a handstand. I’m just saying…

We’ve been eating huge bowls of this chili all weekend…maybe it’s the chili that’s making me feel better or maybe it’s the beer I’m drinking with it. Either way, I’m on the mend. 


6-8 servings

1 pound ground beef 
2 hot link sausages, cut into large dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
1 jalapeno, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
3 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 bottle of beer (I used an Amber Ale)
1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Tapatio)
1/2 teaspoon Worcester sauce
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

For serving (optional): 
grated cheese
chopped red onions
minced jalapeno 

In a large pan, brown ground beef over medium heat until cooked through. Drain off all fat and reserve. 

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté onions until soft. Add jalapeno and garlic; cook for another 30 seconds. Stir in ground beef, sausage, all spices, canned tomatoes with juices, beer, hot sauce and Worcester sauce. Combine well and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then stir in beans and tomato sauce. Bring back to a simmer. Simmer for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Check seasonings for salt, pepper and hot sauce, and remove bay leaf. 

Top with chopped red onions, minced jalapeno and grated cheese, if desired. 

This chili recipe has been in test kitchen mode for over a year, and I’ve been tweaking it a little each time I make it. This batch was the one that finally made me think it was “done.” 

It’s meaty and spicy. It has a good bean to meat ratio. The diced tomatoes add texture and lighten it up a bit. The beer provides depth. I think it’s great chili although I may be a bit biased. And I did get kicked in the head, so take that into consideration…


  1. This looks fan-freakin-tastic! I just love chili and cornbread! :)

  2. Look delicious! Such a good cold weather dish :)

  3. Yum! I hear about this beer in chili and I think your post was the final straw in deciding that I must try this. Soon.
    Great pictures too. I love how you laid them out.

  4. Gorgeous clicks! And this is just what I need right now!

  5. Looks really tasty, but real chilli doesn't have beans. Just messin with ya. I'd still eat it, beans or no.

  6. I'm actually making chili tonight! Your recipe (and photos) looks awesome. Unfortunately I am not "allowed" to vary from my chili recipe! It's one of the hubby's favorites and apparently my chili is the best he's ever had! But I hadn't planned on cornbread so I think I'm going to add that in as a treat tonight!

  7. Your recipe sounds delicious and your pictures are phenomenal! We love chili and cornbread at our house.

    Glad to hear you're on the mend and have no permanent battle scars. I think your story is more proof that exercise kills. I will have to avoid it to be cautious. - lol

  8. OMG you poor thing! I hate when things like that happen....although this dang chili is so gorgeous!

  9. YUM! You should come link it up to my WHat's Cooking Wednesday linky this week!


  10. That must be one of the best *and* tasty- looking chilis ever :)

  11. That goods soo good right now!! With the weather getting cool I'll have to make this to warm up!!

  12. too funny Karen!!! I'm glad you didn't get black eyes! LOL! This chili looks super awesomely delicious! The beer and the corn bread - a must! Beautiful picts!

  13. OMG, Karen!!! You poor thing. It could have been so much worse, I was holding my breath reading it. Yikes. But I agree, chili can help in big ways. Poor Andy, he must have felt just awful.

  14. I hope you feel better, I hate getting hit on my head, it's the most confusing thing ever! The chili looks fantastic ;)

  15. Chili and cornbread is one of my favorite winter dishes!

  16. Oh my gosh! Your chili looks delicious! Amazing.

  17. The chili looks very yummy! Could you share the corn bread recipe, looks just as yummy!

  18. @Anonymous - The cornbread is actually just a box mix...Trader Joe's brand. It's my favorite!

  19. I sure hope your jaw is okay now. I was reenacting your anecdote in my head and I can't help but laugh (not because you were hurt, I am not that cruel...) because the scene looked like 2 kids playing and not 2 adults reenacting a Ryan Gosling act. Anyhow, there is no pain that chili can't cure, that is what I heard. I am anot a chili fan, but I understand the need to have chili spice in dishes and the need to see that husband smile when I serve chili to the hubby. Thanks for sharing...Get well!

  20. Oh my your chili looks soooo good. Can I have this for breakfast please?! :)

  21. Stunning chili, oh my. I hope your jaw feels better soon! Self-medicating with chili and beer is definitely the best thing for situations like this. :)

  22. Spicy chili is my best friend in the middle of the winter. It warms you to the bone! :)

  23. I somehow could never enjoy beans that much, but chili for dinner on a cold winter sounds like a perfect dinner .

  24. Your recipe sounds so good! We are big chili people this time of year... especially chili mac! Yum! We're going to make your recipe next!

  25. When I reprint your recipe, that looks so good, I get a brown background. How can I get rid of that? Thanks

    1. Not sure why you'd get a brown background since it's white on the screen. I get white when I print. You can always just try copy/pasting the recipe into a document and printing that way. Sorry I'm not more help!