This was a bit "edgy" for my family but, I wanted to get a new flavor and this caused me to dig into the back of my spice cabinet. It is kind of spicy but we like that. I also just put it in the oven at 300 degrees for a couple of hours rather than in the crock pot. I had chicken sausages, not smoked sausages. Added some liquid smoke. Nice for the calorie count but, I think beef sausage would be more flavorful
The overall flavours in this recipe were decent except the lemon killed it for us. Will certainly try it again without the lemon and other minor adjustments depending on how hot we want it.
We modified the recipe a bit to use ingredients we had on hand. We made 1/2 recipe with 6 oz Italian chicken sausage cut into 1/2-inch slices and 1 link chorizo chopped into small pieces. We used matchstick carrots instead of sliced. Instead of the Fresno chiles and dried pepper flakes, we used 1/2 red bell pepper and 3 dried chiles, and we added a few shakes of smoked paprika with the spices. Instead of the slow cooker, we continued with the Dutch oven on the stove at a slow simmer for 4 hours. For the last 1/2 hour, we had the lid off to thicken and concentrate the sauce. We finished with cheddar jack cheese instead of Cotija; our version would also work with plain yogurt. The outcome was a blend South American and Moroccan flavors, which we thoroughly enjoyed with a crusty roll and beer. Our version was quite spicy -- if you plan on serving it to company, make sure they appreciate spicy food. I'm sure we'll make this again, and maybe try the actual recipe next time.
I kind of want to rate this 1 and a half stars. I'm not going to make it again, but it does have potential. The spices in this are kind of odd, and some of my family found it too spicy. It also makes a fairly thin sauce.