Black Bean Chili…

Chili is comforting, spicy, filling, and just comfortable to eat.  Similar to stews, soups, and casseroles, it’s a good cold weather dish to keep you content in the winter.  It’s nearing spring, yet chili still works.  Heck, you can have chili all year long.  Plus it’s so easy to make.  You can do it over the stove like I do here or slow cook it while you’re at work.

I made this chili with ground turkey, but of course you can use beef. Good, correct that, great chili requires a strong spice foundation.  By spice I don’t mean heat necessarily.  Spices are cornerstones for savory dishes.  Spices range from chili powder (hot) to anise (sweet) and everything in between like herbs. This chili is pretty mild. Not everyone in the house enjoys heat like I do, but it’s ok because I can add Sriracha or Sambal to my personal bowl.

I also decided to add some peppers for color.  These are roasted peppers that I made a couple weeks ago when peppers were on sale and I had them in a jar with oil sitting in the fridge.  It preserves them nicely.

If you use canned beans, no prep work is needed.  However, if you use dried beans, and I highly recommend it for quality’s sake, you’ll need to soak them in water overnight (or 8 hours while you’re at work).  You can’t over soak them.  Well, I suppose if you left them in there for a week, they’d be significantly soggy.  Whatever, just don’t do that!

Savory, packed with spicy flavor, has sufficient heat for most people, and just damned tasty…

Black Bean Chili

Chili Spice:
2 T chili powder
1 t chipotle chili powder
1 T cumin
2 t dried oregano
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t ground coriander
3-4 T water

Combine dry ingredients in bowl and mix to incorporate.  Slowly add water bit by bit and mix until you have a thick slurry.  If you don’t use all the water, that’s fine.

2 lb beef or ground turkey
3 slices bacon (or equivalent of ham)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 sliced red/yellow/orange pepper (or roasted)
2 1/2 c water
1 T lime juice
1 t sugar
15 oz black beans
1 t cornstarch

If using dried beans, cover with cold water and soak for at least 6-8 hours.

Heat large heavy bottomed pan on medium high. Cook bacon/pork until crisped and fat is rendered out. Remove and add beef/turkey. Brown all sides, doing so in batches if needed. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and peppers, stirring for one minute. Add the chili paste and cook another 2 minutes.

Add bacon back to pot, as well as tomatoes, water, lime juice, and sugar.  Bring mixture to a simmer.  Once bubbling, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Taste for seasoning. Mix a little water (just a few drops) with the cornstarch to make a slurry.  Mix in chili while it’s bubbling and stir for a minute.  Turn off heat and remove pot from heat.

*next up…Simple Trout…*


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