Monday, October 7, 2013

Kielbasa Chili

I would never in a million years have thought that I would eat a chili worth dying for, but this is definitely it! It seems so greasy and wrong - and it is, oh so very wrong! - but it's entirely irresistible. Any sausage lovers out there are going to love this. (You just can't go wrong with kielbasa!)

The recipe's delightfully flexible, so if you like a certain kind of bean over another just throw it in and see what happens! Ditto extras - jalapenos, diced green peppers, whatever. The basics of how to make this chili are taken from a dear friend of mine, to whom I am eternally grateful for sharing the recipe with me!

Kielbasa Chili

6 cups of water*
8 ounces of bacon
16 ounces (1 pound) of Polish kielbasa
45 ounces of canned pinto beans
15-ounce can of ranch-style beans**
6-ounce can of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of paprika
1 teaspoon of pepper
Garlic powder (to taste)
Onion powder (to taste)
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
Sriracha (optional)
Salt (to taste)
1/2 cup of chopped green onions
Sour cream (to taste)

*If the chili will be sitting for a long time add a little more, if not leave it be - I almost always mess this up on the side of too much water, but that means coming home and skimming off some 'chili soup' as a snack to help thicken things up a bit!
**If you have to substitute just make sure whatever you use also has jalapenos in it.

1) Lord, bless!
2) Cook the bacon over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until well done. Once it has cooled crumble the bacon.
3) Slice the kielbasa into medium-small pieces.
4) Drain the pinto beans.
5) Mix all of the ingredients - except the green onions, sour cream, and salt - together in a crock pot/slow cooker, set the heat to low, and let the chili sit overnight or all day. If you're pressed for time, set the crock pot on high and just leave it for a couple of hours. (You may want to reduce how much water you use in that case since you'll just be heating it up.) Use at least a tablespoon each of garlic powder and onion powder. (I use quite a bit more of the garlic, but that's just my preference.) Some like it hot - if you do, I would suggest adding a good squeeze or two (or three!) of Sriracha at this point as well.
6) Add salt to taste, mix in the green onions, and serve with dollops of sour cream (if desired). Enjoy!

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