it is cold now. i'm still holding strong with not turning on the heat just yet but i did bust out my scarf and hat this week. for jab's lunch this week, he got a repeat item: beef stew but also another warm and hearty stew: chili. i made it on Monday for him and gave him two containers for lunch this week. he consumed one for dinner that night! which defeats the purpose of bringing lunch to work but he liked it so it's all good. i had also made a side of corn bread but i added some shredded sharp cheddar to the batter.
Mixed Chili with Pork and Pinto Beans
adapted from Crossroads Cooking by Elisabeth Rozin
2 ancho chilies *
2 large dried New Mexico red chiles *
2 tbl veggie oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 lb lean boneless pork, cut into pea sized pieces *
5 or 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp crumbled dried oregano *
1.5 tsp anise seeds *
1 tsp salt
2 cups cooked or canned pinto beans, with some of the liquid
* i did not use those specific chilis, i used 3 aji peppers that we bought at the apple orchard on Sunday and 2 random asian peppers i had hanging out in the freezer. i did not use boneless pork, i used ground pork instead. no oregano or anise seeds, but i did throw in a bay leaf for giggles. i also added a small can of tomato sauce, for more of a stew-y consistency.
1. With a sharp knife, make a slit in the achos and the New Mexico chiles and shake or scrape out the seeds. Cover the chiles with 1 cup warm water and let stand 30-40 minutes. Remove the chiles from the water, reserving the chile water. Dice the chiles and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the onion and bell pepper over moderate heat, stirring, until the veggies wilt. Add the pork and brown quickly over moderately high heat, stirring it to brown evenly.
3. When the pork is browned, add the garlic, diced soaked chiles, cumin, oregano, anise seeds, and salt. Continue to cook over moderate heat, stirring until the mixture is aromatic and dark.
4. Stir in the reserved chile water, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat for about an hour.
5. Stir in the beans and a little of the bean liquid, if necessary, and cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, stirring occassionally. Taste for salt. Serves 4 to 6.
normally, i don't like chili or beans. but this particular recipe came out really well. spicy but not overwhelmingly so. i'd make this again, but i think next time i will try it with regular pork. i topped my bowl with a dollop of sour cream and cheddar cheese. had i thought of it, i would've saved some diced onions. but i didn't. this time around, my corn bread was moist.
i had no idea this was their only big hit... actually i had no idea who they were until jab enlightened me... we like to play the "Who Sings This Song?" game in the car. sometimes my answers are correct. it's very rare when i stump him tho.