“Everything But the Kitchen Sink” Chili
Last weekend I was one of the featured Colorado cookbook authors at Books, Bites & Brews, sponsored by the Douglas County Library district. It was a really great idea: they featured 6 Colorado cookbooks (including my Tasting Colorado book), had a caterer make something from each book, and then had a bunch of great beers to taste with all the food. Throughout the evening, each author had a 30 minute slot to do a little cooking demo of sorts. I suggested a basic knife skills lesson, as so many people I work with are always asking me about what kind of knife to buy, how to use a chef’s knife properly, and where to sharpen knives. So at the end of the demo, I had a pile of cut up vegetables to take home. Guess how I used them up?Well let’s start with what I had cut up: carrots, red pepper, onion, fennel, garlic, ginger, tomato, and zucchini. But when I looked in the refrigerator I also had celery, mushrooms, cooked black beans, cooked pinto beans, and cilantro. I had also picked up a half hog from my organic rancher recently, so needed to use up the remaining ground pork from last year. The thing about a chili like this is that over time as everything simmers, the ingredients all just melt down and meld together into a harmonious mix. I was a little worried about the ginger in there, but it was a small amount of ginger in a very large pot of chili, so I couldn’t even notice it. When I make chili, I always make a huge pot, then I freeze it in quart containers to enjoy for dinner when my day gets away from me and I don’t have the energy to make dinner (something that happens often when I’m in the throws of testing recipes all day for a new cookbook like I am now). This is a simple to make, good for you, satisfying chili, and I hope you enjoy it!
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 2 pounds ground bison or beef
- 12 cups diced vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, celery, peppers, chiles, garlic, etc.)
- 3-4 cups cooked beans (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 can stock (chicken or beef)
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- Brown the ground meat in a large stock pot over high heat. When the meat is browned, add all of the vegetables, the spices, and the stock. Stir, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are cooked through and the ingredients all come together, about 1-2 hours.
- Stir in cornmeal to thicken the chili slightly, then stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve with plenty of cheese and avocado slices with a nice crusty bread. Freezes well.
If you are in the Denver area and would like to give a signed copy of Tasting Colorado for a holiday gift, I’m selling signed copies through the end of the year for a killer discounted price of $20. Just contact me to arrange the purchase and pickup!