When I got this recipe I read through the various reviews, which I stronly recommend you do if you take a recipe from this site or any site that offers reviews. Anywho, after reading the many reviews I tweaked the recipe as I saw fit for us. As everyone knows chili is a matter of taste some like it sweet while some like it hot. I like it with some spice and very savory, which I think this recipe does well.
I've noted my changes in red and have converted this recipe from stove top to slow cooker (8qt crockpot) recipe. I'd also like to note that I have never made it as it is written nor have I made it on the stove top. The only way I've made it is how I suggest you make it, but it's completely up to you. You can also easily 1/2 the recipe and still end up with a lot of chilli.
One last thing as you look through some of my "adjustments" they may seem a little unorthodox or like I have a total disregard for health but this is comfort food people not diet food so put that in yo' pipe and smoke it!
Boilermaker Tailgate Chili
2 pounds ground beef chuck (I used stew beef cut into little cubes, so they break up easily)
1 pound bulk Italian sausage (I used hot Italian Sausage)
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice (Due to crockpot space I used (3) 14.5 oz cans)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped (didn't use, don't care for it)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (only used 1/2 due to space in crockpot)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (only used 1/2 due to space in crockpot)
2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped (I used jalapenos with seeds removed)
1 tablespoon bacon bits (Used 4 bacon strips instead, crumble & reserve grease)
4 cubes beef bouillon
1/2 cup beer (Used one full beer, Pacifico to be exact)
1/4 cup chili powder (For a special kick use Mexican chili powder)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (the first time I made I didn't add it because I didn't have it & honestly I didn't see a difference with it)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano (If you use the Mexican chili powder use Mexican Oregano)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™) (I used Cholula)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 3/4 tbspn)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white sugar (Didn't use, I like it savory so I added the juice of 1/2 a lime instead)
1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos® (Have never used)
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese (I don't "measure" shredded cheese I just shred it and whatever Ryan doesn't eat before hand we use)
This directions are split to show ST=Stovetop & CP=Crock Pot
1.ST:Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
CP:The directions will be the same, except if you use the beef stew meat do not drain as it will not be greasy just juicy. While you are browning the meat saute the onions in the bacon grease until tender then transfer contents to crockpot, both the meat and the onions.
2.ST:Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
CP: Pour the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the fritos & cheese of course, into Crockpot and mix well. And set to cook on HIGH for 10 hours. Keep a close eye on it because it might spill over from being full.
3.ST:After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. CP: In the last 2 hours of cooking give the chili a taste and adjust salt & pepper as needed, I've never had to, at this point if you'd like to make it a little spicier add some crush red pepper flakes. I have done that and it does make it spicier.
4.ST:To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.
CP: I do not use the corn chips but I do offer sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese & green onions and I serve the chili in bread bowls.A couple of last minute notes: I'm sure there are easier ways to make chili out there but I like this one. And believe it or not it isn't greasy at all. One last thing, I recommend you try serving this in Rosemary bread bread bowls. Trust me it's soooo worth it and you can buy the bread in the bakery section of any grocery store. If you want to add a little something different, on one of the blogs I visit the gal revealed the "secret ingredient" in her chili, cinnamon. Which totally made sence and made me wonder why I hand't thought of it before. So if you are feeling adventurous try putting in just a dash to really play up the spices.