Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oh Baby It's Getting Chili

So August went the way of July and apparently September too. In a flash they were gone. Well, I am thinking that the growing baby and the garden have helped the months fly by. I have been putting up apples, tomato sauce, potatoes, corn and just about any other produce we can get. Oh and I even put up broth made from chicken feet! That however is another post completely, which I promise to post the next time I make it (because then I will remember to take pictures!).

Today, as I was preparing to process tomatoes, I couldn't decide what to make for dinner with the 1.5 lbs package of beef burger I pulled out yesterday. I started flipping through a couple of my favorite cookbooks for soup recipes where I not only had all the ingredients but also sounded good. I still am not sure how I stumbled across the chili recipe in Food to Live By.
The best (or weirdest depending on your point of view) part was that in order to make dinner, I was going to have to process the tomatoes because I couldn't complete the recipe otherwise. So I put the beans in the pressure cooker and browned the meat and there was no turning back.

Chilly Day Chili
(adapted from Food to Live By)

2 TBSP organic canola oil or bacon fat
1 medium organic yellow onion (this would be awesome with red onion too!)
2-4 cloves minced organic garlic
1-1.5 lbs organic ground meat
1 or more strips of organic smoked bacon
1 TBSP organic cumin
1 TBSP organic chili powder
2 tsp dried organic oregano
organic black pepper
1 tsp. organic red pepper flakes
2 c. dried beans or 2 cans of beans (I used organic black beans and organic cranberry beans)
28-36 ounces crushed tomatoes with juice, depending on how thick you like your chili
1 tsp salt (more is needed if you use dry beans)
1-2 c. organic sweet corn (I used frozen)

1. If using dry beans, cook them. I cook mine using my Instant Pot: put beans into the pot, cover with water until the beans are submerged and there is an inch of water above the beans. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. They may not be completely done, however in this recipe you continue cooking all the ingredients for another 45 minutes or more so don't worry.
2. Heat oil/fat.
3. Saute onions until soft.
4. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
5. Add meat and seasonings, coating the meat. Brown the meat.
6. Mix meat mixture, beans and tomato juice. Simmer for 45 minutes or longer until desired thickness is achieved.
*I put it in the Instant Pot (on the slow cooker function) for an hour or two on low because I needed the stove top for canning the rest of the tomatoes.
7. Right before serving I added the frozen corn. This way the corn retained a little crunch to it and tasted very fresh. If you would prefer, you can add the corn in with everything else.
8. Serve with desired sides. We used organic corn chips but cheese and sour cream would have been delicious on the side as well.

The verdict? This recipe was amazing. So amazing that it is almost midnight and after having dinner, preserving a batch of tomatillos while my husband put the kids to bed, finishing up the rest of the tomatoes, getting a batch of broth into the Instant Pot (slow cooker function) for the night, and feeding the pigs, I am staying up late to type this recipe out so that I will have it the next time I want to make a batch. Yep, it was that good.

I will say that this recipe is meat heavy so you can easily double the amount of beans to feed a larger family, just remember to increase the salt and seasonings. (I would multiple the seasonings by 1.5 and then add more if necessary.)

Also, this recipe is not spicy, not even a little bit so if you like your chili to have a kick to it, add more red pepper or a few chilis or something else.

The original recipe recommends cheese and sour cream on the side. I typically use both but today I didn't have them and it was still super yummy.

And now I must pour my tired self into bed because tomorrow I have 60 ears of corn to blanch and freeze along with pressure canning the stock currently cooking. Good night!

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