Chili con Carne

I often keep a pound of spicy Italian sausage from Safeway in the refer for last minute dinners. A spicy bowl of chili topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and scallions is only  90 minutes away.


1 lb. spicy Italian sausage
1 oz. EVOO
1/2 oz. garlic, sliced
8 oz. onion, medium dice
4 oz. celery, medium dice
3 oz. carrots, peeled, medium dice

1 T. chipotle chili, ground1 T. ancho chili, ground
1 T. cumin, ground
1/4 t. oregano, ground

16 oz. chopped tomatoes in juice
16 oz. chicken broth

16 oz. cooked kidney beans


Measure all ingredients.


Heat the oil over high heat, then break the sausage into small chunks and arrange over the  surface of the pan. Continue to cook over high heat until the sausage is well browned on all sides, stirring from time to time.


Add the garlic and onions, and cook until nicely wilted.


Add the spices, and stir as they get hot.


Add the carrots and celery, and cook until they begin to soften.


Then add the broth and tomatoes, and bring to a boil.


Reduce to a simmer, and skim the fat from the sausage as it comes to the surface. It is easier if you keep the pot off center with the flame. The boiling on one side will naturally push the fat to one side. Add some salt, and cook for about 45 minutes, or until all of the flavors have come together. Add the cooked beans, correct the seasoning, and serve.


I grow lots of beans for drying in the summer, and kidney beans are on the list. To use them, I soak them overnight in water, then drain and cover with just enough chicken broth to cover. I add a little salt and ground black pepper, and simmer them, covered over very low heat until cooked, about 45 minutes. They have a much nicer flavor than the ones that come in cans.



This entry was posted in Soups on by .


David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.