2015 - Subterranean Hogtown Blues
Sausages and Peppers Chili


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds Italian pork sausage, casings removed
1 chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
2 cups fresh tomato purée (5-6 fresh tomatoes)
3 sweet red bell peppers (2 minced, 1 chopped into ½” pieces)
1 ancho chili, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
1 dried chipotle stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
1 fresh habanero chili (grown in your backyard if possible)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons dark agave syrup
2 19 oz cans of red kidney beans
1 ½ - 2 cups water


  1. Peel, core and purée the tomatoes. If you don’t own a hand blender, get one.
  2. Bring the Ancho chili, Chipotle chili, Habañero and 1 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chilies are tender (around 5 minutes). Purée the chili water mixture until smooth (see #1).
  3. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven – I used the Le Creuset I got for my birthday - over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and brown well in small batches, breaking the meat up thoroughly. Remove meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
    Note: if you just dump all of the sausage into the pot in one batch, you won’t get any Maillard reaction (the meat won't brown) and your chili will be anaemic
  4. Add onion to the drippings in the pot. Sauté, scraping up the fond, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, black pepper, salt and chili powder. Bloom the spices for another two minutes, being careful not to burn them.
  6. Add the chili purée and tomato purée. Deglaze the pot.
  7. Add the two minced red peppers and agave syrup.
  8. Return the meat to the pot. Add water.
  9. Add the beans to the pot.
  10. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer for 3-4 hours.
  11. Skim off fat or use a fat separator, otherwise you chili will be greasy.
  12. Approximately an hour before serving, add the chopped red pepper and simmer for another 30 – 60 minutes, until the peppers are tender.
  13. Adjust flavour as desired with Agave, and spices.
  14. Eat and enjoy.

(copyright 1990-2018, Ian Silver)