Saturday, February 09, 2008

Black bean chili recipe

I cooked for the crew at El Dorado Western Railway engine house today. Since they like chili, I kept the menu simple, as follows:
I cooked the chili, bread and pie last night at home to allow me time to work on other projects at the engine house. When I arrive at 9 a.m., I lit a batch of charcoal in a chimney starter and warmed the chili on a large Dutch oven. The coffee boiler holds hot water for dishes.

I'll post the recipes for the bread and pie soon. The idea for the menu comes from the Better Homes and Gardens website.


Alter the chili's heat by selecting a salsa that fits your tolerance for capsicum heat. I find that a medium salsa with Ro*tel-brand tomatoes gives me a flavorful chili that doesn't overpower.

3 pounds lean diced ground pork
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups thick and chunky salsa
2 (14-1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish
Sour cream for garnish

Heat a 12-inch Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Lightly season pork meat with salt. Brown pork in hot oil in 2 to 3 batches to avoid overcrowding. Remove each batch of pork to a bowl after it's browned.

Add additional olive oil if needed and heat until shimmering. Sweat bell pepper, onion, garlic and cumin together until soft. Add reserved pork and juices to Dutch oven.

Stir black beans, salsa, undrained tomatoes, oregano, chili powder, crushed red pepper and salt into mixture in Dutch oven. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 60 minutes until pork is tender.

Uncover and add beans to Dutch oven. Simmer about 15 minutes more or until desired consistency is obtained. Check seasoning. Ladle into soup bowls. Sprinkle each serving with Cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream if desired. Serves 8 to 12.

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