Simply the Best Chili and Cornbread

This is quite simply, the best traditional chili that I have ever had.  My Mom has made it for as long as I can remember from a recipe she got many years ago at one of Vermont’s finest sources of specialty smoked and cured meats, Harrington’s of Vermont.  This chili has just the right amount of spice to it, enough so that you feel the heat on your tonge, but not so much that your mouth burns, and it has an excellent bean to meat ratio.

This recipe is huge! It serves 12 to 15 people, but when I was in college, it was such a hit I used to make a double batch of this for all my roommates and friends.  As a result, I had to buy a 5 gallon soup pot in order to accommodate all the chili.  It took forever to cut up all the vegetables, seeing as how we did not have a food processor.  Fortunately, I had lots of help, and will forever cherish the time I spent with friends in the kitchen of the purple house.

I also think that this cornbread recipe is awesome, but that is my opinion.  I am a Northerner through and through, so this may not fulfill the tastes of some, but I do strongly recommend this recipe, because it is both moist and dry.  I know that is a bit of an oxymoron.  What I mean by this is that this cornbread is dry in the way that such a thing is supposed to be with just the right cornmeal texture, but at the same time retains enough moistness, so that it does not end up tasting like you are eating saw dust.

When made with the finest sausage and freshest vegetables, you simply can’t beat a bowl of this chili and a big square of warm cornbread on a cold night.  As the days turn cooler here in the northeast, it is nice to be able to enjoy a bowl of this chili with friends in front of a roaring wood stove.  I hope you will enjoy it too.

Harrington’s Best Chili

4 pounds sausage
3 cups green onions, chopped
4 green peppers, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups beef broth
4 cups tomato puree
3 Tablespoons chili powder 
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin 
1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoons basil
3/4 oregano
4 cups red kidney beans and liquid 
 
  1. Saute sausage (removed from casings) in a large stock pot over medium heat, breaking up with a spoon into small chunks as it cooks.
  2. Add diced vegetables and broth, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.  Serve hot with grated cheddar on top.

Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Cornbread

1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cupcornstarch
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1/3 cups melted butter
1 egg, beaten
 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 x 8 inch pan.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir only enough to moisten, do not over mix.
  5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden on top and a tooth pick comes out clean (I tend to cook is on the lessor side).

Makes 9 good size (about 2 x 2 inch) squares.

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