5-Bean Chili

For those of you who don't know, Nick and I lived in Cookeville, Tenneseee for the first year and a half after we were married. If not for both of our families living in Pennsylvania, we would still be there (we enjoyed it very much!) We especially miss our friends. This chili brings back fond memories of fall in Tennessee...carving pumpkins, having campfires, and sharing a pot of chili with our good friends, Caleb & Laura (who introduced us to this recipe). We all agree that this is one of the best chili recipes out there.

The ingredient list looks long, but the recipe is super easy! The only chopping you have to do is onion, green bell pepper and garlic. Then comes a mixture of 7 common spices, and the remaining ingredients are canned tomatoes and beans!

I open each can of beans and dump them into a colander to drain them. I then rinse them (this eliminates a lot of excess sodium). I also add about 1 1/2 cups canned or frozen sweet corn (as suggested by the Thurmans :) When the chili is done cooking, top it with your favorite garnishes. We all agree that the best toppings are fritos, freshly grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and LOTS of cilantro! This recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse (and the Thurmans!)

1 lb. ground chuck
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup diced green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, broken up with your hands
3 cups beef stock or canned, low-sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups great northern beans
1 1/2 cups cooked and drained pinto beans
1 1/2 cups cooked and drained kidney beans
1 1/2 cups cooked and drained black beans
1 1/2 cups cooked and drained navy beans
Chopped cilantro, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese & fritos or corn chips (for garnish)

In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook the meat until well browned, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, and cinnamon, and cook until vegetables are soft, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, tomatoes, and stock; bring the mixture to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add all of the beans, stir to combine, and continue to cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until flavors have come together and the chili has a nice, thick consistency.

Serve hot, garnished with cilantro, sour cream, grated cheese, and chips, if desired.


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