The crisp fall weather makes me crave a good pot of chili or stew. This is a protein packed chili with plenty of vitamins from the veggies and herbs. You will never know there is cabbage in the pot. If you love sausage, you will love this chili.
Since my kids do not like spicy sausage and there are a lot of beans in this chili, I use 2 pounds of sausage instead of one. I use 1 pound of mild Italian sausage but remove the casing since my kids always complain about the skin and ask what it is. I also add 1 pound of sliced spicy sausage afterwards for a kick but do not add it to the kids bowls.
You can use mild or a really spicy sausage like Chorizo for all the sausage or mix it up like me. Since I do not want to have the spicy sausage in the chili, I use a cast iron skillet for the extra iron and then throw the sausage slices on top of the chili. That way the sausage slices are hot when I serve the bowls.
I also add some avocado slices, a dollop of sour cream, and some sharp cheddar cheese. It makes it rich and creamy and everyone loves cheese.
Since I am making rosemary mashed potatoes too and cannot waste the skins since they contain a lot of the vitamins, I bake the potato skins and add them on top for a little crunch and extra flavor. The skins have a lot of herbs and salt. My kids devour them. All you do is cover them in olive oil, add 1 tablespoon of Oregano and Sage French Grey or Rosemary French Grey Salt and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Plan ahead so this can simmer for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It can simmer all day if you wish. It is great for a lazy day.
1) Rinse the navy beans and then add them to 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 minutes covered. Remove from the heat and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans to add to the chili. While you are waiting on the beans, chop your vegetables.
2) Pour some olive oil in a skillet and cook the hot italian sausage. Remove and set aside. In a large sauce pot, add the mild italian sausage, minced garlic, and chopped yellow onion. Cook until the sausage is brown and the onions are fragrant.
3) Add the beef broth ( I use one container), 1/4 water since I use 32 ounces instead of 28 ounces of broth called for in the recipe, the 3 cups of chopped cabbage ( I use Napa), 2 bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of Oregano and Sage French Grey Sea Salt or 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano and 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and the 2 chopped tomatoes. I weight the tomatoes to make sure they are over 14 ounces. You can use a can of tomatoes with the juices if that is easier.
4) Bring to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 hours covered until the beans are tender.
5) Add the hot Italian sausage in the pot to warm or set the slices on a plate for people to add to their chili bowls.
6) Garnish with avocado slices, a heaping spoonful of sour cream, and sprinkle the cheese over the top to melt. Add the potato skins or fried onions if you want a crunch or make some cheese bread.
The Ultimate Cookbook
Italian Sausage and Navy Bean Stew
Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 2 hours
1 pound dry navy beans (2 1/3 cups)
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans beef broth
3/4 cup water
1 pound Italian sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes, cut up
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Rinse beans. In a large saucepan or pot, combine beans and 6 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. (or, place beans in water in a pan. Cover and let soak in a cool place for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.) Drain and rinse beans. In the same pan combine beans, beef broth, the 3/4 cup water, uncooked sausage slices, cabbage, undrained tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano and bay leaves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves. Skim off the fat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Yield: 11 cups or 8 main dish servings