Howling Duck Chili Con Carne

Ingredients for chili con carne prepared in slow cooker.

Ingredients for chili con carne prepared in slow cooker.

Many argue that traditional chili is made with nothing more than chili peppers, onions, garlic, cumin and chopped or ground beef but no beans. However, in the tradition of the roadside American diners of my youth I add beans. While the diners always used kidney beans, I tend to favour pinto, adzuki and black beans; chili is just not chili without the beans.

Ingredients:

Ground beef (about 1/2 lb or so)

1/2 cup dried pinto beans (or adzuki beans)

1/2 cup dried black turtle beans

1 large onion, chopped

2 handfuls dried carrots (or the equivalent in fresh, I happen to have my dehydrated carrots in stock)

1-5 fresh jalapeno chili, chopped fine (number depends on people’s heat tolerance)

3-5 garlic cloves, chopped

2 large green bell peppers (or anahim, or poblano–my favourite which also adds some heat)

1 large can crushed organic tomatoes

2 tsp whole cumin, freshly ground

2-3 tsp chili powder

2 tbsp oregano

2 tbsp basil

3 tsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp cloves, ground

large handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

salt and pepper al gusto

Garnish options:

Jalapeno Tabasco sauce al gusto

Fresh chopped onion, tomato and cilantro mixed and drizzled with lime juice

Sour cream (for those who need to cool it down)

Cornbread accompaniment

Directions:

Soak beans at least four hours, or overnight. Cook in boiling water until done (usually between 45-75 mins). Drain and set aside.

In large–preferably cast iron–pan, fry the onion until tender. Add ground beef and saute until all pink is gone. While frying the beef, add the fresh garlic, cumin, cloves, and chili powder. Once the meat is cooked add the oregano, basil and cocoa powder. Add tinned tomatoes and simmer until well melded. At this stage you can throw everything into a slow cooker mixing with the beans and chopped green pepper, half the cilantro and let the flavours mingle for several hours.

Prepare the garnishes: Chop finely the onion, tomatoes, and cilantro, squeeze lime just over and set aside until ready to eat. Have sour cream ready in a bowl for those who need to cool the palate. This is not all that hot a recipe. If you want to make it hotter, add more chili powder or increase the fresh chilies.

I always serve chili with home made cornbread…Enjoy!

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Filed under Heritage foods, Recipes

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