Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Return of the Le Creuset

I have a confession. After all of the hooplah over finally getting my beloved Le Creuset French oven, I have only used that thing once. Not three times, not even twice. Just once. What the what!? I am choosing to blame it on Joe. Summer is for grilling anyways, not French ovening. At least that's what I'm telling myself to make me feel better about the lack of use of that expensive pot. The good news is that Fall is here and cozy meals are a must. I have 100% faith that I will make up for lost time and be showing my French oven a lot of love over the next several months.

Mark and I celebrated the first Sunday of Fall doing some of the things we do best. Our day consisted of this; church, lunch, naps and football. A Sunday isn't complete without a fantastic meal and as we welcomed in the season, chili just seemed the most appropriate. I browsed some recipes online and when none of them seemed to tickle my tastebuds, I decided sprinkle my magic dust and come up with a recipe of my own. Normally I do not measure when I'm creating, but luckily for all of you, I kept track of what I was doing so that I could post this accordingly. I added Italian sausage for my "more meat please" husband and a little bit of cocoa powder and cinnamon for a slight sweetness. Ground espresso in chili may seem oh so wrong, but I promise you, this cozy bowl of goodness is oh so right in all of the best ways. I loaded it with fresh spices, vegetables, Italian tomatoes and my favorite surprise ingredient- pumpkin beer!

Sunday Chili

1 lb. lean ground sirloin
1lb. mild Italian sausage
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 large green pepper, diced
1 bottle Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale
1 28 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 28 oz. can Italian crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 can light kidney beans
2 cans dark kidney beans
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. ground espresso
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Olive oil
Salt to taste at end

Coat the bottom of a French oven (or large heavy bottom pan) with olive oil. Saute garlic and onion on medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add sirloin and sausage, cook all the way through. Once the meat is completely broken apart and cooked, add in remaining ingredients. Simmer on medium-low for at least two hours. If extra flavor is needed, add salt to taste when the chili is done cooking. (I hardly needed to add any)

Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream.

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