Saturday 7 December 2013

Spicy Lamb and Red Bean Chili

This is, without question, the best chili I have ever made.

I have a few mason jars full of peppers; some smoked and dried, others just dried.  They can last years if properly dried and stored in tightly sealed containers.  My choice for this lamb chili was a single smoked and dried anaheim pepper which provides amazing flavour and some good heat to go with the cayenne and chili powder.

And the cocoa and cinnamon add a richness to the flavour but also improve the colour as lamb is pretty pale.

Olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb ground lamb
Spice Mix (see below)
White wine (optional)
1/2 can red kidney beans
2 cups whole canned tomatoes (4-5 fresh plum tomatoes)
10 cherry tomatoes (optional)

Spice Mix:
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
1 smoked and dried anaheim chili pepper, crushed

Saute the onion and garlic about 8-10 minutes in some olive oil until softened.  Break up the lamb into the pan, cook about 15 minutes until fully browned.  Add all spices, cook 8-10 minutes which will help to bring out the flavour.  Add a splash of wine to deglaze if the mixture is sticking too much to the pan.

Add beans, canned tomatoes and fresh cherry tomatoes (if using) and let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add additional salt as needed.

Serve with sour cream and cilantro with a side of cornbread (pictured with some johnny cake).

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