Beans beans beans. I love beans. I wonder if I have too many foods that I love. Nah. I just had this awful thought, “What if I hated as many foods as I love!?” That would be terrible. Let’s not even go down that path. Shudder…
I have made chili about one million different ways. Long before I knew I liked to cook, eons before blogging was even a thing, I liked to make chili. Back then I thought it tasted good. I have no idea if it actually did, since I don’t time travel (I think that that’s the second time I’ve mentioned time travel on here in a short time… I’m cool with that… Tim should be very proud). I suppose that as my chili recipe has evolved, so has the taste. It’s a good thing to learn, grow, change, don’t you think? I mean, if we go deep for a minute, would I want to be the person I was a year ago, 5 years ago, 10, 15, or 20 years ago? Heavens no. I’ve learned, I’ve changed, I hope that I’ve become a better version of myself. As we mature, that’s what tends to happen.
Kinda like a good chili. The recipe changes over the years. Ingredients are added and subtracted, cooking times speed up and slow down. The chili itself gets deeper and richer as time passes, gently simmering over the fire. A great metaphor for our lives I think. I want to be chili. With a depth, a richness, a savory quality that can only come from years of well seasoned living.
This is a well seasoned, deep chili. It can cook for a shorter time or you can let it go for longer. It’s simple, yet rich. It’s hearty. It will fill you right up, but might leave you wanting more, because it tastes so good. It’s perfect with your favorite cornbread. Um, but then what isn’t? Cornbread is one of those foods that I could eat forever. I like it cold the next day, standing in front of the fridge with the door open, starving, needing a snack. It is the perfect solution to that problem. It’s great heated up in the toaster with a fried egg for breakfast. Or, with the leftover chili. That’s always a good idea.
Here’s to lives and food that have depth, richness, and are well seasoned.
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1 C onion, chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 C black beans
- 1 C kidney beans
- 1 C cranberry beans
- 1 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
- 1/4 t ginger
- 1 t chili powder
- 1 t sweet paprika
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 C vegetable stock (beef or chicken would work too)
- 1 T honey
- 1 t butter
- Heat soup pot and add beef. Break up and cook for a few minutes. Add onion and serrano pepper, and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, and tomato. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add beans, seasonings, stock, and honey. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Serve with your favorite cornbread.