It’s winter. Officially. Although, at times, it doesn’t quite feel like winter. Regardless, it’s the end of January, and I’m craving my warming and hearty (yet healthy) soups and stews and chilies. I won’t lie, with recent talk at the office of the Annual Chili Cook-off (I won last year!), my mind has been on creating a new chili to cook up for the big competition.
This past weekend, while doing some recipe testing with cauliflower…I decided to do something completely different and make some chili…from scratch.
This meant on Saturday afternoon, I had dry heirloom beans soaking in water on my counter top. When I do something…I do it right. Now…if you don’t have the time, patience, or a clue as to how to work with dry beans…no worries, this recipe will work with canned beans as well. Just use 2 cans of tri-blend beans and you will get similar results.
That being said…I wanted something smokey…with that true homestyle flair. So…instead of tomato sauce…this chili got the bbq sauce treatment. And I have some local, amazing bbq sauce on hand…lots of it in fact…so I got a little chefy and a little creative. And the result…left the people who tried it raving.
SO…I figured I would just go ahead and share the recipe with you!
Recipe: BBQ Bean Chili
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 (4 0z) can mild chiles
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 cup dry beans, soaked overnight (I used Epicurean Specialty Heirloom Bean Blend – which contains beans, peas & lentils)
- 1 cup bbq sauce (I used Masters Hand with Integrity [Medium])
Prep the beans. Place beans on a sheet pan or clean towel. Remove and discard any shriveled or broken beans and any stones or debris. Rinse thoroughly in cold water.
Soak overnight. Rinse and place in a large pot, covered with fresh water. Bring water to a boil for 3 minutes, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 60-90 minutes, until beans are tender. Reserve a cup of the cooking water.
Line a large pot with 1/4 cup water over medium heat.
Add onions, garlic, and chiles. Sauté until soft.
Add in chili powder, oregano, cumin and cayenne; stir for 2 minutes.
Mix in the cooked beans, 1/2 cup of the reserved bean cooking liquid and the bbq sauce. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat and simmer until theflavors blend and the chili thickens. About 20-30 minutes. I found I needed to a the rest of the bean water to get it to the texture I like…but vegetable broth would also work.
Garnish with a sliced avocado!
(Of course, you can garnish this however you like…sour cream, cilantro, grated cheese…but I love me a good, ripe avocado on top).
LOVED this chili from the first taste. It’s tangy, it’s got a kick to it, but it’s not overwhelming. Not only that, it’s warming and hearty…and healthy! How’s that for winning?
Go ahead, cook some up!! It freezes well, but, trust me, it may not be around long enough to need to hit the freezer!