Weekday Chili with Black and White Beans

Pork chili cupFinally it is Fall and I can go back outside again. Summer in Atlanta this year was 100 times more depressing than winter.  The spectrum of comfort ranged from hot, sunny mugginess to damp, dank, cloudy rainy mugginess.  These first 2 days of fall have been glorious blue skies, with lower humidity and perfect temperatures.  Keep on with that!

So to celebrate, I made a pot of chili.  I have a few versions of this up my sleeve – there’s the kind of chili that takes all day to cook, and there’s fast chili that you can throw together in 15 minutes and have on the table in an hour.  This particular recipe is quick and versatile – just right for a weekday meal.

If you’re interested in the more extravagant chili recipes, check these out.  This recipe for Beef Chili Rellenos begins with a regular pot of beef chili made with slow cooked chuck roast. That is my usual go-to chili recipe, sans the poblanos.  I also have a relatively involved recipe for New Mexico Carne Adovada.  This is made with pork shoulder, marinated overnight (or up to 48 hours) in homemade red chile sauce, then slow cooked until tender.  It is a lot of work, but so worth it!

But you’re probably here for the weekday version, as advertised. This version was made with ground pork, but you could also use ground beef or a combo of beef and pork.  Heck, even ground chicken or turkey would do.  I added 3 fire-roasted New Mexico green chiles for more flavor and heat, black beans and cannellini beans for visual interest (and more volume), and also threw in some leftover sweet bell peppers and onions that I had grilled over the weekend.  Other leftovers would probably work pretty well too – zucchini, butternut squash chunks.  Add more green chiles if you want. Whatever you’d like!
Here’s the “base” recipe. Improvise as needed!

Ingredients (about 4 servings):

  • ~1 cup chopped sweet onion (1/2 jumbo onion)
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO (or other oil/fat)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 3 fire-roasted green chiles, chopped
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (no salt)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups broth (I used chicken)
  • 1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes (or diced tomatoes)
  • 1 13-oz box cannellini beans (or other white beans) – drained and rinsed
  • 1 13-oz box of black beans -drained and rinsed
  • Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  1. In a  large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium to med-high heat. Add onions and pepper; saute until soft. Add garlic and stir until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  2. Add ground pork and cook until no longer pink, mashing and stirring with wooden spoon to break up clumps of meat.
  3. Add green chiles, chili powder, cumin, and salt.  Stir until seasoning is mixed well with the meat and vegetables.
  4. Stir in broth and crushed tomatoes. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer; cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add drained and rinsed beans to the chili.  Simmer for around 15 minutes.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  7. Serve it hot!  Serving suggestions: cheese and sour cream, cornbread or corn chips, sliced avocado, limes.

Pork chili pot

nootherOoh, I love the fall…! Also love Gene Clark. Former Byrd member (He wrote “Probably Feel A Whole Lot Better”) who never really took the next step to superstardom, unlike David Crosby. Instead he focused on making some great country-rock with The Dillards, and later in his life, with the Textones. Couple of favorites here. First up is No Other, generally considered his solo masterpiece. One of those records you listen to again and again, and hear something different each time. The first cut, “Life’s Greatest Fool” is better than 99% of post-Byrds work by any of them.

Another good one is Gene Clark (aka White Light). While not the equal of No Other, it holds its own with Clark’s introspective, meaningful country style. Sadly Clark died in 1991, but left loads of work to delve into. Now, time for some chili!clark