Lamb Chili

I got a recipe along these lines from the Sebastiani Winery twenty years ago. I’ve made it a half-dozen times, changing it drastically with each iteration. Sometimes I made it with beef, which works just as well. It’s always good, though. Here’s the current version, with much more pepper and lamb than the original.

Spices Assortment

  • 3 large peeled onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, removed from skins
  • 2 lbs. leg of lamb, cut into half-inch dice
  • 2 cups Zinfandel (red)
  • 2 28-oz. cans whole Italian tomatoes, broken with fingers
  • 2 cups cooked but firm red beans
  • 2 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 Tbs. paprika
  • 2 Tbs. Creole seasoning
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and crushed red pepper in the olive oil until light brown at the edges. Transfer to a large kettle or Dutch oven and set aside.

2. In the same skillet saute the Italian sausage and the lamb, breaking the sausage up it up as you do. Cook for about three minutes, until lightly browned. Add sausage to kettle.

3. Add the wine and the juice from the tomatoes to the skillet. Bring it to a boil and reduce by half.

4. Add the pan contents to the kettle, along with all the remaining ingredients except the green onions. Simmer, stirring now and then, for two hours or longer, adding water if it starts getting too thick.

Serve in bowls with the sliced green onions on top.

Serves eight.

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