All-American Chili

yield: 8 to 10, active time 30 minutes, total time 120 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage (2 or 3 links), casings removed
  • 2 medium onions, chopped medium (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped medium (about 1 cup)
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated on a microplane (about 8 teaspoons)
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups Merlot or other fruity red wine
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Procedures

  1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high until hot (about 1 minute). Add sausage, onion, bell pepper, garlic, sirloin, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking up meat with back of wooden spoon until meat is browned and onions are translucent, 8 to 12 minutes.
  2. Add chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, tomato paste, oregano, black pepper, salt, and bay leaves. Cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add wine, tomatoes, and beans. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until flavors have blended and liquid has reduced, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to bottom of pan.
  3. Remove cover and cook an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves. Scoop into bowls and sprinkle with graded cheddar. Serve with remaining wine.