This is not how I normally make chili.
Normally, I prefer to use chunks of stew meat, shredding them as they cook, rather than ground up meat.
Normally, I don’t bother with pig’s feet in chili, trusting whatever meat I use to enrich the liquid, and whatever liquid I used to have enough other flavors.
Normally, I think using spicy sausage to provide the heat is cheating.
Normally, I would not cook with a beer I wouldn’t drink. Okay, so there’s no such thing as a beer I wouldn’t drink, but there are plenty I wouldn’t pay for, and that’s what went into this pot.
The thing about chili, though, is that it is one of the great ways of disposing of whatever you have on-hand, and this one was devised largely to get rid of some andouille that was just a bit too hot for me.
So, I figured I’d water it down, so to speak, with some ground beef that was cluttering up the freezer. The only beer in the house was my dad’s Genny Cream, so I figured a pig’s foot would compensate for the lack of flavor.
So, yes, my first chili of the year was not chili as I prefer to make it, but it was chili, so it was good.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 12 ounces andouille sausage (three links of whatever brand they have at Hannaford)
- 3 cans Genesee Cream Ale
- 1 pig’s foot
- 3 medium-small onions, diced small
- 1 red bell pepper, dice small
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cans of tomatoes
- 2 cans black beans
- 2 cans red kidney beans
- half a bag of frozen sweet corn
- salt and pepper to taste
Brown the beef in a large pot, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Quarter the sausages lengthwise and slice, adding to the pot along with the onions and bell pepper. Cook until the onions become translucent and add the garlic, cumin oregano and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for about a minute and add the tomatoes, beans and corn along with enough beer to cover.
Throw in the pig’s foot, bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer and cook, covered, for at least two hours. Three or four would be even better.
Discard the pig’s foot and bay leaf and raise the heat. cook, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired thickness. I like chili with a sludge-like consistency, so take it off the heat sooner if you prefer yours soupy.
Serve topped with grated cheese.