Monday, January 31, 2011

Bowl of Red

Seems like everyone is making chili! With beans, without beans, with beef, vegan or whatever! Is it because of the fiery warming goodness on a cold night, Super Bowl parties or just because we love our bowls of red? Talk about subliminal messaging hitting the target, this weekend I had to have me my own.

It's been so long I almost forgot chili beans

Bowl of Red
Chili with beans and cocoa
For Recipe Click More

It's been a long time chili beans
6-8 servings

1  16 oz package dried pink beans
2 tbl olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef (20% fat or less)
1 ½ cups chopped red onion
1 ½ cups chopped red bell pepper
1 lg fresh jalapeno pepper (about 2 tbl finely chopped)
1 inferno chili chopped
3 pasilla/ancho chili peppers re-hydrated and blended
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 cups beef broth
1 15 oz can Mexican Style Stewed Tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 ½ tsp kosher salt

Spice Blend
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp Roasted Ground Cumin
1 tsp Dried Oregano
½ tsp ground California Chili Powder
¼ tsp ground red cayenne pepper
2 tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch red chili flakes

Place pasilla/ancho chilis in medium bowl, cover with hot water to rehydrate. Let soak at least 30 minutes, drain, remove stems and then process in blender until smooth. Add a bit of strained water for pouring consistency (about 1 tablespoon.)
I used the quick soak method to precook the pink bean before adding to the chili mixture.
Combine spice blend in prep bowl.

Heat olive oil In heavy bottom 6 qt pot.
Cook onion, red bell pepper, chili peppers until slightly softened, add garlic and cook a couple minutes more and then push to the outside of the pot.
Crumble in the ground beef in center of pot and brown. Add salt and pepper. Drain off any  rendered fat as it will just boil your beef and not make it crispy.
Deglaze with beef broth, add tomatoes and tomato sauce, bring to a boil.
Add spice mixture and blended pasilla/ancho chilis.
Add precooked drained beans, cover and reduce to low boil/simmer for 1 ½-2 hrs before serving.
Taste for salt and add at the very end. I added about 1 ½ tsp.


  1. Yumm I've been hungry for chili too. The last couple of times I made turkey chili and it was only alright. I'm going to give your recipe a try! Really, I'm hungry for conrbread and the chili just goes with it. ; )

  2. I made a batch of cornbread too! If you think the kids might want to try (or kid) you might want to cut back on the chilis. The red cayenne and flakes at the end really kick it up a notch so to speak. Tha pasilla/ancho and cocoa combo really give it a nice smoky flavor. Different than standard fare for sure.

  3. This is a seriously great chili recipe, and as always I love the intricacy of your spicing and flavors combined with hominess and warmth. Nom, adding this to the list Robin!

  4. This creative journey is taking me places my cooking mentors have never been. Tho I love Dennison's, this take is indeed an experiment in layering the flavors so that each bit realizes something a little surprising, but comfortable on the tongue. That I can take elements from my home grown peppers and other spice finds make it all the more fun. Mix it up my friend, each pot is a new adventure!


Comments have been disabled on the site. See my new site at

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.