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Monday, 5 March 2012

Smoky Beef and Three-Bean Chili

Unless you are a vegetarian, I would suggest that everyone loves a rich, meaty, beefy chili. Now with that said there are many schools of thought on what constitutes 'chili'; I am mostly speaking to you Texan purists out there that will argue to the death that beans do not belong in chili.  As I am not one for traditionalism, in my chili anyway, in this recipe you will find beans.  If you cannot get beyond this then I suggest that you stop reading here and find a different recipe.  However, for you bean lovers, continue reading on to find a great big batch recipe perfect for game day, a large family dinner, or potluck event.  I like to make this chili the day before I want to eat it as I find the next day it has a richer, thicker consistency.

NOTE: You will require a very large gigantic pot or will need 2 large pots to simmer 2 batches seperately.  You could also half the recipe but this is challenging to do with canned ingredients. I suggest making a enitre batch and sharing it with friends then storing the remainder in individual tupperware and freezing it for quick weeknight dinners.

Makes enough to feed an army and then some!

3 lbs of ground beef
1 lb ground veal
1 tsp olive oil
2 sweet onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, fine dice
2 bay leaves
4 cups tomato sauce
3 14oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 16oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 16oz can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 16oz can romano beans, drained and rinsed

Spice Blend
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Garnishes (optional)
grated cheddar cheese
sliced green onions
sour cream
corn relish
fried tortilla strips

In a small bowl stir together all ingredients for spice blend.

Heat largest pot (or dutch oven) over medium high heat and saute onion for about 10 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Remove onions and garlic from pan and set aside.  Return pot to heat and add beef and veal and cook until browned (drain off excess fat, leaving just 1-2 tbsp).  Add onion and garlic mixture into the beef and add green peppers, jalapeno and bay leaves.  Add spice blend and stir with meat mix until well combine.  Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.  Stir in beans.  Bring pot to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours.  Serve with desired garnishes.

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