Firehouse Chili con Carne


People are passionate about chili. They like it the way they like it and that’s just the way it is. Some people like beans in the mix, others not so much. Some people top their chili with all kinds of interesting toppings: sour cream, cheese, chives, fritos, cornbread. Me I’m kind of an odd bird and I like my chili served over rice. Yep, always have. I also like for my husband to make it. Why you ask? Well I have to admit mine tastes more like spicy spaghetti sauce than chili so I defer to him on this one. And grilling for the most part.

So naturally when Johnsonville asked me to create Chili to deliver to my local firehouse on Valentine’s Day I knew I better call in for help. Hubs whipped up a chili con carne (I did help with the stirring and watching the pot like a hawk) with just the right amount of heat (no fire extinguisher necessary)  that I’m sure they (and you) will love. I would have gotten a photo of the fireman for y’all but they were hungry and it’s just rude to take photos of people eating (almost as annoying as the waitstaff that comes over to talk just as you have a mouthful of food – really? ) so I got the next best thing, the fire truck.

Think your chili rocks? Take the Johnsonville Italian Chili Challenge and who knows, maybe you’ll be the lucky winner ; )


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Johnsonville, Opinions are my own. Always have been. Always will be.

Firehouse Chili con Carne

What You Will Need:

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 pound Johnsonville mild sausage - casings removed
  • 1 onion - chopped
  • 1 bell pepper - chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 2 tablespoons Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 15 ounces pinto beans - drained
  • 15 ounces light red kidney beans - drained
  • 15 ounces chili beans - drained
  • grated cheese - optional
  • thinly sliced chives - optional

What To Do:

  1. Into a large French oven over medium - high heat brown sausage. When cooked through, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Add ground beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned. Transfer beef to bowl with sausage. Set aside.
  3. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add onion, bell pepper, cook until softened. Add garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook additional minute.
  4. Add: chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and tomato pasta. Cook approximately 5 minutes. Add beer and reduce by half.
  5. Add: cooked beef and sausage, cocoa powder, tomatoes and broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chili thickens, approximately 1 hour. Add beans, continue cooking for additional 30 minutes.
  6. Serve with optional cheese and chives.


  1. 1

    What a beautiful bowl of chili! I would love a bowl, since the fireman ate all mine too 🙂

  2. 2

    Gracious! My guys are going to devour this for sure, looks amazing love. 😀

  3. 3

    Mmmm, that looks so good! I could handle a bowl of chili today.

  4. 4

    Yum, love that your chili has a little cocoa powder in it too!

  5. 5

    This sounds so amazing, Paula! I love the addition of chocolate!

  6. 6

    What a great chili recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

  7. 7

    onions gives it a sweet tast, never tryed coco in meats, will try it tonight, already got it made except for chilie & coco.

  8. 8

    Oooooo…that cocoa is intriguing me. Yum!

  9. 9

    I have been looking for a good chili recipe and I think I’ve found it!

  10. 10

    I have been looking for a good chili recipe and I think I’ve found it!


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