Friday, February 13, 2009

Lip smackin' good chili

My husband is a picky eater. Don't get me wrong--he'll eat anything I put in front of him, and will usually even have a second helping. But when he actually comments that something is "good," it makes my day. And when he raves about it, I know I have a major winner on my hands.

Such is the case with this chili recipe I found on a while back. I am trying to clean out my fridge and pantry and recipes like this are good for that sort of thing, so I decided to cook it for dinner last night. Without further ado, I present the Pork, Beef, and Black Bean Chili of Parker Ranch Grill, Kamuela, Hawaii (from the November 2002 issue of Bon Appetit), via

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 pound chuck steak, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes (I didn't have any handy, so I left this out)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups water
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 6-ounce cans tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
3 cups diced onions (I used one white onion and half of a red onion)
3 cups diced red bell peppers (I used one whole red and one whole orange pepper)
3 cups canned black beans, drained, rinsed (from three 15-ounce cans)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 3/4 cups (about) beef broth
Grated cheddar cheese

Important note before you start:
The instructions say to use a large pot and they mean it! I use a 5.5-quart round Le Creuset French Oven when I make this, and it is full to the tippy-top once I add everything. Also, the recipe says this makes 8 to 10 servings, but I think it's probably closer to 10-12 unless you're feeding professional football players!

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground pork and ground beef and saute until brown, about 3 minutes. (At this point I usually drain the fat off even though the recipe doesn't say to.) Add cubed beef and garlic and saute 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water; bring to boil. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and sugar and simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, onions, and peppers and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Add black beans and cilantro. Add beef broth 3/4 cup at a time until thinned to desired consistency. Bring chili to simmer. Ladle hot chili into bowls; top with grated cheese and serve. (My husband eats it this way. I prefer to add a dollop [or two!] of sour cream to the chili and then have on the side a tortilla covered with melted cheddar cheese. Mmmmmm...)

Bon Appetit!

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