The time has come for me to brag about being anti-Halloween. But this year, I am going to a party. Like a youth. And I couldn’t be more excited — The Boyfriend and I are hopping a flight to Houston tomorrow morning for a couples shower for my sister and her fiance, thrown by all of my mom’s sisters. Full disclosure, it is not a costume party and it is mostly just an opportunity to celebrate a couple I completely adore with a backyard full of people I love, but it is still a party, dammit, and I will be cooler for having attended it.
But before we jet off to Texas to shower the happy couple, I needed to get this chili off my chest. Because it’s (once again) a decidedly un-Texas chili. Texas chili never has beans. Ipso facto, a chili that is all beans can never be a Texas chili. (I was never tops at logic or Latin, but I trust someone will correct me if that sentence is incorrect in any way. In the comments, maybe? WHAT DOES A GIRL HAVE TO DO TO GET A COMMENT AROUND HERE, PEOPLE?)
But what this chili lacks in authenticity, it makes up for in deliciousness. And I have to say that pureeing the beans at the end makes all the difference — it thickens up the chili without making it taste floury and makes the bowl steam like stew (and not like chili-flavored beans). I think I may feel different about this chili after I visit the homeland this weekend but, for now, it’s simple and delicious, a perfect complement to anyone dressing up like a foodie this year for Halloween.
Flashback! One year ago on Leighto-Greato: Hearts of Palm Dip
- ½ lb. dried black beans
- ½ lb. dried pinto beans
- ½ lb. dried cranberry beans
- 2 T. vegetable oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2 T. chili powder
- 1 T. ground cumin
- ½ T. oregano
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 bottle of beer
- 1 28-oz. box of chopped tomatoes
- Fritos, shredded cheese and cilantro, for serving
- Rinse the beans in a colander in the sink, and pick out any beans that look dirty or weird.
- In a pot with a lid (not the pot in which you will make your soup), add the beans and cover with 3 inches of water.
- Bring the water up to a rolling boil over high heat, and let it cook as high as you can for 2 minutes. Cover and turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the hot burner. Allow to soak for 2 hours.
- In your soup pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the minced onion, chili powder, cumin and oregano and saute, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the garlic and bell pepper, and saute another minute or two.
- Add the bottle of beer, and boil until the beer has all but evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes, the beans and their cooking liquid, and add more water until the beans are covered by at least an inch or two of water.
- Bring the soup up to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 2 hours, until the beans are softened. Add water if it looks too dry.
- Blitz the chili with an immersion blender, but don't let it go for too long -- you still want mostly full beans.
- Serve with fritos, shredded cheese and cilantro.