Friday, September 17, 2010

the season's first pot of chili

Chili Weather!
Each year I wait in anticipation for The Perfect Fall Day, the day when you know the time is right. The day when.... it's cool enough to make that first pot of chili in the fall!
Well, yesterday was that day on the Lonesome Road. As the days grew shorter and farmers started to harvest, I knew it would be soon so I've been stocking up on the ingredients while checking the weather forecast each evening. Finally the day was here!
I usually use ground turkey in chili for its low fat content and (usually) lower prices. This time however, I splurged on some lean free-range ground buffalo. What an amazing, rich flavor! A bit on the pricey side, but hey, it was autumn's first pot of chili, an equinox celebration!
You may also notice that I don't include chopped peppers in this recipe. That is just a matter of personal taste; I don't care much for cooked peppers but certainly feel free to add them if you wish; I would suggest poblano pepper for its mild and almost smokey flavor.
I'm not one who serves chili with a side of fire extinguisher; this is not a spicy hot chili. The amounts of ground dried chipotle and cayenne pepper can be increased to suit your own heat tolerance, or you can simply use a hotter chili powder blend.
  • 1 pound lean (90/10) free-range ground buffalo (yes, you can use ground beef, turkey or vegetarian crumbles if you prefer)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • One 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, liquid and all
  • One 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • One 15 ounce can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 8 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste) dried chipotle chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon (or more to taste) cayenne pepper
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, brown and break up the ground buffalo a bit and add the chopped onion and minced garlic, cooking until softened but not browned.
Add the diced tomatoes; fill the empty 28 ounce can with water and add to the pot. Add tomato sauce, spices and beans, combining thoroughly. Cook on a low simmer for as much time as you can allow; an hour will be fine but the longer this amazing brew cooks, melding spices, juices and free-range goodness, the more magical the flavor will be!
Offer toppings like shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese, sliced jalapeno peppers, sour cream, chopped raw onion, or chopped cilantro.
Serves approximately 6.


Kat said...

that will sure warm you up on a cold day!!!

Plantress said...

yum this recipe sounds good. I cheated and rushed the season a couple of weeks ago. In the fall I start to want to "stock up" my freezer with goods. It must be some cave woman gene that prompts squirrel mode behavior. I put ground beef and a touch of clove in my chili. It gives it a different flavor. You should try it w/some more of that buffalo

Happy weekend!

Doris Sturm said...

Oh yes! I love chili too...I like mine hot... just like your chili pepper neclace :-)

Lonesome Road Studio said...

hehe, thanks Doris!
Plantress, sometimes I do sneak a dash of cinnamon into chili, kind of like the "Cincinnati chili."
Thanks everyone for stopping by!

cabin + cub said...

mmmmm.. i have been craving chili. perfect for the first day of fall! ;)


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