A Bowl Full of Chili

A bowl full of chili is the perfect complement to a Superbowl or game day party on a cold winter evening. Everyone who's had my chili loves it and I'm going to share my secret!

Secret #1: Ditch the canned beans and make your black beans and kidney beans from the dried form. You need to plan this out and soak the beans overnight but trust me, it is worth it!

Secret #2: Canned tomatoes are fine when you're in a lurch but some nice, ripe tomatoes will add some juicy wonders to your pot of chili.

Serves 8
Total time 3 hr, plus 8 hrs or overnight soaking of the beans

1 cup dried kidney beans, soaked for 8 hrs
1 1/4 cup dried black beans, soaked for 8 hrs
1 lb lean ground beef
5-6 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 large carrots, diced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 cup cilantro, sliced
2 cups water
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp Worchester sauce
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/4 cup tomato paste 
1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Cook your pre-soaked kidney beans and black beans separately in 2 medium pots filled with water for 1 hr. Drain the water.

In the meantime, dice the carrots, tomatoes, onions and cilantro.

In a large dutch oven or 3-ply heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Cook the garlic and onions for 4-5 min to brown, add the carrots and cook for another 5 min.  Throw in the ground beef and break the meat apart with a wooden spoon while cooking the meat through until the pink is gone.

Add the tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, pepper and salt, Worchester sauce, water, tomato paste, oregano and cilantro and stir together. Place the drained, pre-cooked beans into the pot and simmer for 2 hrs, stirring occasionally to prevent burning and checking to see that there is liquid in the pot.
Note: you should be cooking at the lowest possible heat while still simmering the chili to prevent the liquid from drying out.

After 2 hrs, check the beans to see if they are soft. If not, cook for another 30 min. Adjust the salt and pepper and add more chili powder to your liking.

Serve with fresh bread and nachos. You can even serve this with some brown rice for a heartier meal.

Chili tastes even better after a day or two, giving time for the flavours to meld together.


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