Last Halloween, everyone was apparently making chili, including me. The store was actually out of chili powder. I had decided to make what my kids call “regular” chili, which is red chili with tomatoes, bean and beef. While the chili was cooking, we pieced together my son Sam’s vampire outfit (characteristic of every Halloween, at the last minute). Thinking I was very clever, we used the carton from a recently purchased case of Amber Bock beer to fashion the collar form. Unfortunately in our haste, we painted the front but neglected the back, so from behind he looked like a bottle of Michelob beer. Of course, Sam didn’t think a thing of it, and the neighbors got a kick out of it, so all was fine. The chili tasted really good with some Kerrygold sharp Cheddar sprinkled on top and washed down with what else—an Amber Bock beer (for the adults of course).
The chili recipe is adapted from the original Silver Palate cookbook. I typically skip the olive oil, dill, lemon juice, and the olives, and use whatever canned tomatoes I have on hand, usually a combination of stewed, plum and crushed but the rest is by the book.
Silver Palate Chili for a Crowd
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, ground
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons ground cumin
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 28 ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, drained
¼ cup dry red wine
1 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 16 ounce cans dark-red kidney beans, drained
2 5/12 ounce cans pitted black olives, drained
Heat the olive oil in a very large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the sausage meat and ground chuck and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the meats are well browned. Spoon off any excess fat and discard. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley, and kidney beans. Stir well and simmer uncovered, for another 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add olives and simmer for 5 minutes more the heat through. Serve immediately.
If you want a more adventurous chili, try any of these.
—By Jill Melton, Editor