Friday, March 1, 2013

Four Alarm Chili

Gluten Free Four Alarm Chili
Beyond the usual chili spices this four alarm chili gets added heat by adding hot Italian sausage to the ground beef in the recipe.  Following a gluten free diet makes it tough to use pre-mixed chili spice blends since many of them contain gluten to thicken the chili. The spice blend listed here is my gluten free alternative for a spicy batch of chili.  And the toasted cornmeal in this recipe will add a nice mouth feel and act as a thickening agent in the recipe.  But, if you’re serving this to kids you might want to adjust the spices a little and swap out the hot sausage for a mild variety.    

Four Alarm Chili
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hours

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausage (removed from the casing)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 15 oz. crushed tomato
  • 10 oz. diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fine gluten free corn meal (toasted in a dry pan for 2 minutes)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups beef broth, stock or water
Chili Spice Mix:
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp chipotle
  • ¼ tsp cayenne

Video Tutorial:


  1. Over a medium high heat, crumble and brown the beef and sausage together in either a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. 
  2. Once the meat is cooked about ¾ of the way through, add the onion, jalapeno, garlic and some salt and pepper to taste then allow the veggies and meat to sauté together until the veggies have softened and the meat starts to brown.
  3. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the grease from the pan and stir in either my chili spice blend or about 3 tablespoons of your own favorite chili spice blend. 
  4. After a minute or two of stirring the spices into the meat add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chilies and stock to the pot then stir to combine, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for an 1 ½ stirring occasionally.
  5. In the meantime I have 2 tablespoons of fine corn meal that I toasted in a dry sauce pan for a minute or 2 until it starts to smell like popcorn and the color gets a few shades darker.  And this will add a hint of toasted corn flavor to the chili and add denser heartier mouth feel to this.  And make sure that if you’re on a gluten free diet, you use corn meal that’s certified gluten free. 
  6. After the first 90 minute simmer add 2 cans of drained red kidney beans, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, and the toasted corn meal then stir, cover the pot, simmer 30 more minutes and serve.      
Notes:  I garnished with some extra sharp cheddar, a little sour cream, and a few scallions.  And when I make a batch of chili to serve with hotdogs I like to add a tablespoon or two of yellow mustard to the chili pot.

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