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Firehouse Chili

Yankee Plus Dec 2015


by in Jan 2012
Firehouse Chili
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Total Time: 30

Dennis Carr grills the beef for his chili, then breaks the patties up into the mixture. This method cuts the amount of fat in the final dish and also results in bigger chunks of meat. However, you may also just brown the meat in the pot before adding the vegetables.
Note: You may increase or decrease the amounts of jalapeno, chili powder, and cayenne pepper, depending on how much heat you prefer.

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  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium-size carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed light-brown sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can each kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas


Preheat your grill to medium, about 350°. Shape ground beef into large, flat patties. Grill patties until centers are medium rare, about 5 minutes on the first side and 3 on the second. As an alternative, you may cook the patties in a skillet, or just brown the meat in the chili pot over medium-high heat, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon.
In a large (at least 7-quart) Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, warm oil. Add onions, carrot, bell peppers, jalapeno, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.
Stir in crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas. If you grilled the beef, add patties now and use a large spoon to break them up into bite-size chunks. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered, stirring often, 1 hour. If mixture seems too thick during cooking, thin it with a bit of water.
Check seasoning and add more salt or black pepper if you like. Serve hot.
Updated Thursday, December 15th, 2011

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