For Valentine’s dinner my husband treated me to an evening out.
But there was a group of men who didn’t get to take their wife or sweetheart out to dinner for Valentine’s to celebrate. Our local fireman. They were working to help keep us all safe. When Johnsonville asked if I’d like to be a part of their Chili Firehouse Promotion I jumped at the chance. I got to make Sausage and Pepper Crock Pot Chili for my local, area fireman. These men and women have been to my house and the homes of many of my neighbors and friends and I was excited to show them my gratitude and appreciation for all they do to keep our neighborhood safe.
I used a combination of sweet Italian sausage as well as hot Italian sausage along with some ground chuck. This is definitely a meat lover’s chili!! I originally cut the sausage into 1 inch pieces but then after I cooked them I decided they were too big and cut the pieces in half.
I combined that with a lot of yummy, colorful peppers to make for a very pretty pot of chili. I used red peppers, green peppers and jalapenos.
You can totally make this chili as hot or as mild as you want. If you want mild chili don’t use the hot sausage or the jalapenos but if you like it hot – go crazy with those peppers. I like a touch of spice so I only used 2 jalapenos but you could totally make it as hot as you like! You can also control the seasoning – chili powder, cumin, pepper, basil, oregano.
I cooked all the meat and then combined it with the rest of the ingredients except for the fresh tomatoes and put it in the crock pot. I let the crock pot do the cooking of the peppers.
I cooked in on high for about four hours but you could also do in on low for 6-8 hours if you need to. You just want the flavors to meld together and the peppers to soften up. I added the fresh tomatoes in about an hour before I was going to serve it.
You could also do the whole thing on the stove top if you want but I think chili tastes better the longer it simmers.
Thanks to Johnsonville for providing the crock pot and inviting me to participate in their special Chili Challenge.
- 1 lb. hot Italian Sausage, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 lb. sweet Italian Sausage, cut into ½ inch pieces
- ¼ C olive oil
- 1 C chopped onion
- 3 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 lb. ground beef chuck
- 2 green peppers, coarsely chopped
- 2 red peppers, coarsely chopped
- 2-6 jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded and cut into small pieces (I used 2)
- 4-14.5 cans of diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 C beef broth
- 1 C fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 Tbsp chili powder (or more for added heat)
- 1½ Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp dried basil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 6 roma tomatoes, diced
- cheese and sour cream for garnish
- Cook sausage until browned and cooked through. May want to add a bit of water to the pan to help them cook.
- Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
- Heat oil in pan and add in onions and garlic and cook until soft (about 5 minutes)
- Add in ground chuck and cook until meat is browned.
- Add meat and sausage into crock pot.
- Add in peppers, tomatoes, beef broth, tomato paste, parsley and seasonings. Stir.
- Cook in crock pot on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.
- Add in fresh, chopped tomatoes an hour before serving.
- Garnish with sour cream and grated cheese
Recipe adapted from The New Basics Cookbook