A cold weather remedy

potchili1To most New Yorkers, January means horrendous weather–as I look out the window now, the temperature is only barely high enough to justify a downpour of rain instead of delicate snowfall. On a brighter note, January also brings the NFL playoffs. So for this Giants fan, nothing complements the season’s highs and lows like a bowl of chili…or ten.

Making chili in bulk is a cheap way to get a lot of meals from a little cooking. Use inexpensive meat (I mixed ground beef on sale for less than two bucks a pound, and top round  on sale for $2.39 a pound), a few vegetables (onions, peppers, tomatoes, corn), anddscn3372 of course a load of beans (Texans might argue differently, but we’re a long way from the Lone Star State). The recipe I use is adapted from a 2002 issue of Bon Appetit. It makes a couple gallons of the stuff for less than $10. Once I’ve eaten as much as I can handle, I freeze the rest in serving size containers that I can nuke whenever I need to imagine a warmer climate.

My adaptation of Bon Appetit‘s recipe is after the break.

Pork, Beef, and Black Bean Chili (adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2002)

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork or beef
  • 1 pound chuck steak or pork cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder*
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 6 oz. cans tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 3 cups diced onions
  • 3 cups diced bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen cooked corn
  • 3 cups canned black beans (from 3 15 oz. cans)**
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Grated cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium high heat. Add ground beef or pork and saute until brown, about 3 minutes. Add cbed meat 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, peppers, and jalapeno and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add black beans, corn, and cilantro to chili. Add beef broth 1/2 cup at a time until thinned to desired consistency. Bring chili to simmer. Chili is ready to eat, but continue to simmer at low heat, stirring occasionally, up to 2 hours until you’re ready to eat.

*If you’re feeling adventurous, replace chili powder with three dried ancho chiles, split in half, seeded, boiled for 15 minutes, and blended with 1/2 cup of the water in which they were boiled. Add the puree at the same time you would add the powder.

**Experiment with different kinds of beans. I like a mixture of black, cannelini, and pinto.

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