This is not chili! No, really; it isn’t. Yes, it is full of beans and meat and peppers but it is still not chili. However, like chili, it is excellent piled on buttered toast.
You can use whatever kind of sausage you like for this, although I suggest something with garlic and without sweetness, so not honey-garlic, for instance. But I could be wrong. Maybe honey-garlic would be fine. I used a raw sausage but a smoked one would be very good too. Kielbasa, even. I did not add much in the way of seasonings to this because I wanted it to taste mostly of peppers and onions and garlic and sausage. Which means that whatever sausage you use, it should be a good one.
Also, this is very much last call for peppers. I’ve still got a lot, moldering away on the kitchen counter but they will be getting pretty scarce in the markets by now.
4 to 6 servings
2 hours prep time not including the bean cooking time
Cook the Beans:
2 cups dry beans
1 teaspoon salt
Put the beans in a large pot with water to cover them generously, and bring them to a boil. Boil for a few minutes, then cover them and turn off the heat. Soak for a few hours. Repeat boiling and soaking the beans until they begin to soften. Add the salt and simmer gently until the beans are tender. Replenish the water as required.
You can do this a day in advance and almost certainly should. Or, I suppose, you could use 2 540-ml (19 ounce) cans of beans.
Finish the Dish:
500 grams (1 pound) sausage, see remarks in introduction
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil, if required
1 large onion
1 large green pepper
1 large red pepper
1 to 5 cloves of garlic
4 cups chopped or crushed tomatoes
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cut the sausage into bite-sized pieces. Put it in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot with the oil, if you think that the sausage will fail to provide sufficient fattiness on its own. Cook gently over medium heat.
Meanwhile, peel and sliver the onion. Wash, core, and cut into slivers the green and red peppers. Add them to the sausage and cook, stirring regularly, until they soften, reduce in volume, and brown slightly in spots.
Meanwhile, peel and mince the garlic, the amount depending on whether there is any garlic in the sausage already and how much you would like there to be. Add it to the pot and stir it in for a minute or two.
Add the drained beans and the tomato, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour. Taste and add salt and pepper as required. Serve with plenty of hot buttered toast.
Last year at this time I made Spaghetti Squash Pancakes.