Saturday, December 31, 2011

Big-Batch Chili

Usually I make a several kinds of little food for our annual (almost) New Year’s Eve open house. This year I decided to make a big pot of chili to round out the selection of appetizers and desserts that our friends brought to share. Over the years, I have experimented with many different ways to make chili and this creation is no exception. It uses ground beef and a combo of black beans and garbanzo beans. The complexity of flavors from the spices works well. I pureed the veggies to add nutritional value while disguising their presence from picky vegetable-haters. Enjoy!

Big-Batch Chili
2 onions, cut into chunks
3 carrots, cut into chunks
3 celery ribs, cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
3 lb. lean ground beef
2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. chile powder
2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
3 Tbsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 (28-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup water (optional)

1. Place onion and next 3 ingredients in bowl of food processor, and pulse until slightly chunky. Cook vegetable mixture in hot oil in a large Dutch oven for 5 minutes or until vegetables began to become aromatic. Season with salt and pepper. Add in ground beef, and cook, stirring often, until meat is browned and crumbly. Stir in allspice and next 5 ingredients; stir in salt and pepper. Add in tomatoes, beans, and, if needed, water. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour or until ready to serve.

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