Beef and Italian Sausage Chili


Yesterday while I was on a nice long walk – 4.7 miles to be exact – with my best, furry friend, Remington, I noticed the fall color in the leaves at the park. They were so pretty, I had to stop and take a picture. Noticing the beautiful fall leaves put me in the mood for chili so I decided to make it for last night.

I was looking through a cookbook I have called “The Silver Palate Cookbook” to get an idea for a different chili than I’m used to making. When I saw that this chili had red wine in it, I was intrigued. This recipe also called for fresh lemon juice which I thought was quite interesting for chili. I changed quite a bit of the recipe as it is in the cookbook because it is meant to serve 35 people. We have just three people in our family, so that was going to be a bit much. As it was, I had a lot of leftovers, which I’ll tell you what I did with them. Let me tell you how I made my version.

The recipe called for both ground beef and Italian sausage. I used a pound of each.


I wanted to use my All-Clad Slow Cooker to make my chili. I love this slow cooker. The insert is meant to be used on the cooktop and then transferred into the slow cooker once your meat has been browned. You can put the insert right onto our cooktop to brown your meat and then continue the cooking, with any ingredients you’d like to add, in the slow cooker. I wanted the wonderful smell of chili to fill my home for the afternoon. I heated 1/4 cup of olive oil in the insert on the cooktop and then added my chopped onion. After the onion had softened and was translucent, about 5 minutes, I added the meats and cooked them until they were browned and crumbly. I then added a tablespoon and a half of jarred minced garlic. You could use fresh garlic cloves, but for some reason, I thought the jarred one sounded good with this recipe. Once that was done, I turned the heat to low and added the rest of the ingredients. After all the ingredients were added, I placed the slow cooker insert into the slow cooker and set it for 4 hours on high. Wow, did my house smell fabulous!

I really loved how this chili turned out. I found it so interesting to add lemon juice and red wine to chili. It gave such a depth of flavor, everything worked so well together.

Here’s what I did with my leftovers. I had so much chili left over, I texted my lovely neighbor, Laura, to see if they’d like some chili. Thank goodness they did! I’ll look forward to hearing how the chili tasted the next day, as they are having it tonight. Life is so fabulous when you have great neighbors. Laura, Joe and their three wonderful kids live across the street from us. They were the first family we met when we moved in almost 12 years ago. It’s amazing to me to think that Sean and Calvin were such young boys, 4 and 1, when we moved in. Chloe wasn’t even born yet. My daughter, Kylie was just 5. Now, Kylie is a senior, Sean is a junior, Calvin a a freshman and Chloe is in 5th grade. We have great memories that we’ve made with Joe and Laura and their family. I love chatting outside with Laura. It’s great to have neighbors where you can just hang out and shoot the breeze. Her son, Calvin is so funny. When Laura and I would be chatting on her driveway, he’d poke his head out his bedroom window and tell us we were talking too long. Sean and Calvin used to come over when I’d put the Halloween decorations up and help me. It was always something I looked forward to. When I put our Halloween out last week, it put a smile on my face remembering how they’d come and help, I always loved that! We get together every year for pizza, wine and pumpkin carving. Laura and I have already been talking about this year’s pumpkin carving gathering, I can’t wait! Since this year Halloween falls on a Monday, we are looking forward to being able to carve our pumpkins on Sunday night. Her boys come up with some really amazing pumpkins! Last year, Calvin designed an apparatus so he could shoot the candy down a “tube” from his bedroom window to land in a bucket below for all the cute little trick-or-treaters. He’s pretty clever!

Here’s how the chili looked once it was done. The first picture is just the chili, the second picture includes the toppings I added: shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, chopped scallions and parsley. I served the chili with a simple cornbread.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons jarred minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup merlot wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 15-1/2 ounce can, plus an 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 15 ounce cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 28 ounce cans plum tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • shredded cheddar, sour cream and diced scallions (for toppings)


1) Heat olive oil in slow cooker insert (or Dutch oven if you aren’t using a slow cooker). Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

2) Add beef and sausage, along with garlic, kosher salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high until meat is brown and crumbled.

3) Turn heat to low and add wine, tomato paste, tomato sauce, dijon mustard, chili powder, cumin, basil and oregano. Stir.

4) Add drained tomatoes, drained kidney beans, lemon juice and parsley. Stir and place insert into slow cooker and set to high for 4 hours. (If you are using a Dutch oven, return heat to medium and let simmer for 20 minutes.)

5) Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and minced green onions.


Until next time, Kris

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