In my fantasy league of recipe writers, I would cover everything. A million questions that you had not even considered asking yet. Each recipe could be cooked on a stovetop, grilled, slow-cooked in an oven, or pressure-cooked in a cooker, car, train, or tree. You could turn the vegetarian into a carnivore and the carnivore into a paleo. The gluten-filled could be made gluten-free. And the sour cream could be replaced with yogurt, which can be substituted by buttermilk, milk, lemon or soymilk, and vinegar. We would find a way of putting kale into anything. You can use flat-leaf Parsley instead of cilantro (because it’s the devil’s herb) or leave out all of them, as green flecks are grounds for dismissal. We would make food your picky spouse would love, as would your kid and pesky fad diet guests.
Naturally, I would also write one recipe per year. I understand this, but sometimes, I can get carried away by The Dream of writing this type of recipe. I make Lasagna Bolognese using homemade noodles, but you can also use store-bought. You can also use ricotta; just don’t let me know. And bolognese made with either wine or milk. Hot Fudge Sundae cake is made for those who are crazy (everything down to cookie crumb topping, homemade) or for those with a busy schedule (everything down to cookie crumb topping, purchased). We can make Lazy pizza dough according to your plan. In this episode, I tried to devise as many different ways to make three-bean Chili as possible so that no one could avoid it.
Why Chili? We’ve been having a lot of spring-like weather around here, but then we get a big snow pelt the next day. I don’t know what the weather is. It’s either sandals or Sorels. Chili is the perfect food to bridge the gap. It can be as hearty and heavy as a thick stew or served with tortilla chips as a summer meal.
I made a three-bean chili a few years ago when this blog was still a baby. However, the recipe only had a small audience. I wanted to make it from dried beans, but there wasn’t a good recipe to guide me. This is a food that would be best cooked in a pressure cooker or slow cooker. So I decided to go it alone. Hey honey, guess what I’m having for dinner tonight? I’ve achieved most of my goals. You can use canned or dried beans. You can use dried chiles, fresh peppers, or mild peppers. It can be made with lots of little tomatoes. If chili powder is not your cup of tea, leave it out. It can be made on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, and I will show you how to make it with a pressure cooker (even though I haven’t tested it yet in my new but unmastered one). It’s not necessary to soak the beans. You can even use canned beans.
You can’t serve it to a Texan. I’m sorry, Texas. Because I love Texas and my friends from there, I feel compelled to warn non-Texans that they should not put tomatoes or beans in their Chili. Ah, well. We will try again shortly.
Three Bean Chili
Yield: About nine cups of Chili, eight small servings, or 4 to six large portions.
One medium onion, finely chopped
Finely chop 1 or 2 peppers (see below for notes)
Three cloves garlic, minced
Chili powder, two tablespoons
Cumin 2 teaspoons, ground
Oregano dried, one teaspoon
Use two teaspoons of kosher salt or table salt instead of 1 1/2 teaspoons
12 ounces of beer
If you can, one 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes that have been fire-roasted.
Mix dried beans: 1 1/2 cups (see Note).
Water: 3 1/2 to 4 Cups
Serve with: Corn or flour tortillas, sour cream, diced white onions, cilantro, tortilla chips, rice, or corn or flour wedges.
Oil can be heated in a heavy medium pot, Dutch oven, or pressure cooker pot (if you are finishing on the stove) or a large skillet if you’re spending in a Slow Cooker. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook it for 5 minutes until translucent. Add fresh peppers, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant and browned. Add the beer and remove any bits that have stuck to the pot. Pour the liquid into a pot and boil until it is reduced by half or, if alcohol is a concern until all of it has been removed.
If finishing on the stove: Add tomatoes, beans, any dried or rehydrated-and-pureed chiles, and a smaller amount of water. Stir occasionally. Bring the mixture to a full boil for a minute, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. If the the combination is drying out, add the last 1/2 cup of water. I did not need this in most of the batches that I tested. You can add the water immediately if you don’t mind a sloshier chili.
Suppose finishing in a slow cooker: Scrape onion, spice, and beer mixture into a slow cooker and add tomatoes, dried beans, any dried or rehydrated-and-pureed chiles, and a smaller amount of water. Cook on HIGH for 6 to 7 hours until beans are soft. If necessary, you can add the final 1/2 cup of water. However, it is unlikely that this will be needed.
If you are using a pressure cooker, follow the instructions from your manufacturer. This was not thoroughly tested on my new pressure cooker (boo), but I estimate it will take about 30 minutes. 20 to 22 minutes high The InstantPot can be used to cook dried beans for 35-40 minutes. I hope that helps!