Monday, December 29, 2008

Vegetarian Chili

In my opinion, the most important ingredient in vegetarian chili is meat. Yep, that's what makes it good - the more the better. Now, Breda is a purist and does not consider it chili unless it has kidney beans and ground beef as a base. I made this last night, and in deference to my lovely wife, I call it Mexican Stew (but really it's chili).


1 lb. chorizo cut into slices

1.5 lb. boneless beef chuck short ribs cut into small cubes

5 slices of bacon

1 large green bell pepper - diced

1 poblano pepper - diced

1 large yellow onion - diced

1 15 oz. can of pinto beans - drained

1 15 oz can of chick peas (garbanzos to you fancy types) - drained

1 12 oz can of tomato paste

2 cloves of garlic - minced

1/2 tablespoon of salt

1/2 tablespoon oregano

Now the important part:

1 dried chili pepper - seeded and minced

2 dried Jalapeno peppers - seeded and minced

2 dried chipotles - seeded and minced

1 large fresh jalapeno - seeded and minced

1/2 teaspoon dried chili powder (I like the chipotle, but ymmv)

The above produce a sting on the tongue, some sniffles, and slight perspiration, but no permanent damage - I would say a 4 or 5 on a scale of 10 - feel free to add more heat to suit your particular pain threshold.

Fry the bacon in your chili pot till crisp (why dirty a skillet ?). Take it out and crumble it, but don't pour off the drippings.

Fry the sliced chorizo in the bacon fat (this is a healthy recipe after all, and nothing says cardiac goodness like bacon fat).

After the sausage is brown, remove from pot, and drain off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings.

In the reserved drippings, cook the green pepper, poblano pepper, onion, garlic, diced beef and all the dried peppers until the meat is browned. Do not pour off the juices.

Add 2-1/2 cups of water and everything else, save for the beans, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for thirty minutes and add the beans.

Let it bubble away for another thirty minutes plus however longer it takes to achieve the thickness you like.

Pour everything on the floor and let your family fight for it like wolves.

Alternatively - spoon it into bowls and serve with fresh bread and a nice lager.
The good thing about this recipe is that it serves as a starting place for all sorts of variations - add some corn, or potatos, or use Italian sausage - the sky is the limit.


Weetabix said...

You're making my mouth water like usually only Brigid does.

I used to work with a real, live, Texan competition chili cook. He said that beans came nowhere near real chili. :-)

My chili has kidney beans, though. Must be a relic of my Indiana upbringing.

The other thing he did was to mix black, white, and red pepper to taste to get an even "bite" over the whole length of your tongue. I can't remember now which was which, but there was front bite and back bite.

He also cooled the whole thing down, then heated it back up before serving. That did something to the "set" of the spices.

Anthony said...

Chorizo, short ribs, bacon......maybe I am a vegetarian after all lol

Breda said...

It was delicious, my love. After all, it did have bacon.

red said...

The Broad Ripple Brew Pub has a new all might chili. It's beef and bison. A few more bowls of that and I'll finally be able to grow a beard!!!

Mike said...

I've had the Broad Ripple's Chili - it's really good.

red said...

But have you had the "Herdsman's Chili"?

They recently revamped the menu.

Tam said...

"They recently revamped the menu."

That's it, I'm coming home right now.