What began with an innocent question gave rise to a gnawing fear. I had been exuberant about my purchase, so much so that I shrieked an irritatingly loud YEEEESSSSSS in the deli aisle of the otherwise silent grocery store. I was so pleased I nearly skipped, nay, floated, to the checkout counter. Then Chili Jr. hit me with the question- “But Dad, do you think they’ll be enough chili flavor?” Ah! Why must practical considerations incessantly usurp my happiness? Chili Jr. brings up an (annoyingly) reasonable consideration- the chili-cheese flavored sausages, those that I was moments earlier GLOATING about buying- may well be lacking in tangible chili chutzpah. What’s a guy to do? I ended up doing what comes naturally- I doubled down to get my chili-up. Twice is nice, in a twin helping of the good stuff. I chili-cheesed the chili cheese sausage. Redundant? Only in its duplicity, not its taste. When you really, really care about chili, the extra mile is always close at hand.
½ lb elk cubed
1/4 to 1/3 C ketchup
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained
1 T chili powder
½ t coriander
½ t celery salt
2 T ketchup
2 t prepared ground mustard
1/3 C diced dill pickles
6 hot dog buns
6 chili cheese sausages
Diced white onion
½ C shredded cheese
- In a slow cooker, cook cubed elk in about 1/4C of ketchup (just enough to cover the meat) for 8 hours.
- Remove meat from the slow cooker and chop it into fine pieces.
- Return meat to the slow cooker and add beans, chili powder, coriander, celery salt, 2 T of ketchup, and mustard.
- Cook on low for 2 ½ hours.
- Prepare chili cheese sausage according to package directions
- Place sausage in a bun, top with chili, top with cheese. Top with onion, if you’d like.
Cheese, chili, sausage, and chili, and cheese- there is more (and more) to love. As a giant jumble, it was spectacularly tasty. My only regret is that I ate it too quickly. Savor the good things (and destroy the bad).
Concerning the individual elements, my crock pot chili was pretty tasty, with strong-ish coriander notes and meaty base while the chili cheese sausage was, while not exactly bursting with flavor, fairly well reminiscent of chili. Of course, together they synergized to form something greater than the sum of its parts and by-far worth the reduplication of effort.