Sugar Bowl Sausage Link Chili


Posted on January 4, 2011 at 7:23 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 13 at 3:29 PM

Frank Davis / WWL-TV Cooking Expert

Nuttin’ goes better with a front row seat for the 2011 Sugar Bowl (whether in the stadium or in front of your new 60”color TV) than a big ol’ bowl of pipin’ hot chili loaded with beans and sausage links.  This is a brand new concoction but you should know that this ain’t your conventional, everyday, fast-food joint, Granny’s chili.  Throw this one together tonight and see how happy you make a bunch of football fans. 

3 pounds “chili-ground” ground meat
8 links Italian sausage
4 (15-ounce) cans chili beans (2 medium, 2 hot)
4 (10-ounce) cans Rotel tomatoes with diced chilies)
1 small can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, medium-diced
2 ribs celery, medium diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup cooked bacon bits
2 cups beef stock
1 bottle imported beer (not light beer)
1/3 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon Frank Davis Sicilian Seasoning*
2 tablespoons Frank Davis Beef Seasoning**
Sea salt and coarse-ground black pepper, as desired
1/2 pound shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish
1 large bowl corn or tortilla chips for garnish

Start off by heating a large 8-quart, porcelain-coated, cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Then crumble into it the ground meat, stir it around briskly with a wooden spoon, and cook it until it’s all evenly browned.  Then, a few at a time, drop in the sausage links and stir them into the ground beef, totally combining the two meats thoroughly so that the sausage links begin to brown as well.  At this point, if an excess of fat has collected in the bottom of the pot, drain it off and discard it.

Next, drop in the chili beans, the Rotels, and the tomato paste and work them into the meat mixture.  Then spoon into the pot the onions, celery, green and red bell peppers, bacon bits, beef stock, and imported beer.  Take a few moments to insure that everything is totally combined.  Then sprinkle in the chili powder, Worcestershire, granulated garlic, brown sugar, sweet basil, paprika, Sicilian seasoning, and beef seasoning and blend everything together one more time.  This is also the first time that you adjust your salt and pepper levels to taste.  The last time is when you feel the chili is almost ready to serve.

At this stage of the recipe, you need to cover the pot tightly, reduce the fire, and simmer the chili on “low” (stirring occasionally as it cooks) for at least 2 hours.  After the allotted time, taste the dish and readjust the salt, pepper, and chili powder amounts as necessary.  Remember this—the longer the chili simmers the better it will taste.  Just be careful that you don’t scorch, char, or burn the bottom of the pot—if you do the chili won’t be able to be salvaged. 

When you’re ready to eat, ladle the chili out into large heated bowls, each one topped with a link of the sausage and garnished with a fistful of shredded Cheddar cheese and topped with a hearty helping of corn or tortilla chips.  A variation is to serve it with hot, right-out-of-the-oven toasted pistolettes so that the sausages can be done “hotdog style.”
Chef’s Notes:  
If you don’t have Sicilian Seasoning on hand, you can substitute regular Italian seasoning in its place.

If you don’t have any of my beef seasoning on hand, substitute 2 tablespoons of cumin in its place.
uIf the chili doesn’t turn out spicy enough for you individual taste, feel free to shake on as much Frank Davis Garlic Cayenne Hot Sauce as you’d like.

”Chili-ground” ground meat is a coarse-cut grind designed solely for making a thick, hearty, chewy chili.

If you don’t have any brown sugar, you can substitute 1 tablespoon of white granular sugar in its place.  The brown sugar, however, gives the chili a bolder, more robust flavor.

It’s perfectly okay to split the sausages in two crosswise “after” the chili is done to make it go further.  But you should wait until the links are cooked before cutting them or the meat will tend to fall out of the casings.

To get the maximum flavor from this chili recipe, cook it one day, refrigerate it, reheat it, and serve it the next day.  Oh, wow!  Talk about mouth-watering!