Tuesday, January 1, 2019

fancy-pants bean chili

I adapted David Lebovitz's Chocolate Chili to a) use an InstantPot to cook the beans and b) not have beef (though I did end up using beef bouillon). Recording my modifications here because it's something I'd happily make again:

Chocolate Bean Chili

  • 2 pounds (900g) dried red or variegated heirloom beans (I used a mix of pinto, red, and kidney beans)
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 glug oil
  • 3 teaspoons smoked salt 
  • 2 to 4 dried chiles (I used chipotle, with seeds)
  • about 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder (if available otherwise use an additional teaspoon of red chile powder)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups (50cl) beer (I used an IPA)
  • 2 cans (15oz, 200g each) crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 ounces (55g) unsweetened chocolate (or 3 ounces, 85g, bittersweet chocolate, in which case skip the brown sugar)
  • 4 teaspoons bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar or lime juice (I forgot about this....)

First, the beans: soak them overnight, then drain, rinse, and add to instantpot. Add 8 cups of water, a few smashed garlic cloves, and a glug of oil. For this particular mix of beans, I used 8 minutes at high pressure, natural release. It is a lot of beans!

Prepare the dried chiles by chopping them up (remove the seeds if you don't want it to be spicy) and pouring boiling water over them (just enough to cover). When they've softened, drain them.

When you're ready to actually make chili, saute the onions in the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat until they turn translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the drained chiles, salt, garlic, chile powders, oregano, cumin, and paprika, and saute for another minute, stirring continually to avoid burning.

Add the beer, tomatoes, and chocolate (plus sugar if you're not using bittersweet chocolate). Stir and add the beans, plus as much cooking liquid as seems necessary. Bring to a gentle simmer and add the bouillon, if using. Simmer for 45-60 minutes, until the flavors have melded. If it seems like you need it, add the vinegar or lime juice.

serves: 10-12