OK so the truth is there are no possums or muskrats in this chili recipe contrary to Grenville’s posting, just don't let him know; it will be our secret. The list of ingredients is long, but NO prepared chili seasonings here, just spices, peppers, tomatoes, chopped meat and sausage (optional). You can make it mild or as HOT as your taste buds can stand - add more chili power, crushed red pepper or maybe you like cayenne pepper or hot sauce - EXPERIMENT. This recipe serves 6-8 but that depends on HOW much chili is eaten. At the F&P we like leftovers cause there's nothing better than 2nd day chili...even without possums!
Note: When no fresh herbs are available, use dry herbs. Standard conversion is 2-3X amount of fresh to dry: 3 tbsp fresh for 1 tbsp dry. Add fresh herbs later in cooking, depending on the recipe. (Some fresh herbs, like rosemary, bay, sage are strong. Others, like tarragon, are best added near the end of cooking.)
Not Possum Chili - Only Better
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chop coarsely
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, ¼ inch diced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, ¼ inch diced
2 tbsp garlic, chop fine
1 lb sweet sausage, remove from casing (optional)
2 lb ground beef
½ C tomato paste
1 ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more)
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 cans (20 oz each) canned tomatoes, drained - reserve juice
½ C dry red wine
1 tsp salt – or to taste
½ C chopped fresh parsley or cilantro – dry OK (see note)GarnishesGrated cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or whatever you prefer
Sour cream (plain yogurt if you prefer)
Thinly sliced scallions
- Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell peppers. Cook until soft (about 10 min.) Add garlic and cook 2 min. more.
- Crumble sausage meat into pot and brown well. Stir to break up and cook 10-15 min. Add beef and cook until browned (15 min. more). Drain off most of fat.
- Add tomato paste, cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cook over low heat 2 min.
- Add tomatoes with 1 C of reserved juices and red wine. Simmer uncovered over medium heat 15 min. Stir in salt and parsley/cilantro. Serve in bowls with choice of garnishes.