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Rich Southwestern Chili

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It may not be a chili contest winner for spiciness or novelty.  Instead, this good, hearty, traditional Southwestern chili will warm you up and put a smile on your face with a touch of spicy and a load of flavor.  As with all good soups, stews and chilis, left overs only get better as the spices infuse over time.  For the purists on either side of the chili debate: this chili has beans!

This recipe makes enough for 6-8 servings.  Prep time is about 15 minutes, then 100 minutes cooking time. Should you have a lot of leftovers, it freezes well if you give it time to thaw.


  • 1/2 lb. hot turkey Italian sausage (about 3 links), casings removed
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 8 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. ground sirloin
  • 1 chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 4 Tbl. chili powder
  • 2 Tbl. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 Tbl. tomato paste (about 2/3 of a small can)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 cup Merlot or other red wine
  • 2 28-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 15-oz. cans kidney beans, drained
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese for topping


  1. Heat a large saucepan or stock pot on medium-high heat, and add sausage through jalapeno(s).  Cook about 8-10 minutes, until the sausage and beef are browned and crumbling.
  2. Add chili powder through bay leaves, stirring constantly for a good minute.  Be forewarned how good it will smell!
  3. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook uncovered 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Discard the bay leaves and serve into bowls.  Sprinkle with cheese as desired.


As this makes a lot of chili, one jalapeno will NOT make the chili hot.  If you prefer hot, spicy foods, add in 2-3 more jalapenos for a little bite, or 4-6 for some nice heat.


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