Three-bean chili with of course three kind of beans (kidney, black and white) and ground beef. Oh boy, this is what I am talking about!
When my boyfriend cooked it up for the first time for me (about 3 weeks ago), from the bottom of my heart I said YES to his recipe. Funny thing is that he was actually afraid that I wouldn’t like it. So guys this recipe is a BIG keeper and we are sharing it with you. I said we, but it’s just him this time.
So here goes his story about how he came up with this recipe … What about me? :) I was visiting my parents for some time and he had to survive (kidding, he actually cooks a lot).
His story … “It was a cold, dark winter night. Eight already, but the sun had set shortly after four with not much really going on other than the incessant howl of the wind blowing relentlessly and at times with violence.
Boy, was I glad that I went to the gym early today and didn’t need to go out anymore for the day. I thought it was the perfect weather to get back to my book and get caught up with the adventures of Ozzie Isaacs chasing the Silfen*, but at the moment I needed to satisfy a craving that was less intelectual and more basic in nature – primal if you will. I was **hungry**. Something had to be done about this.
I had a very clear and vivid idea of what I wanted. [Burgers]. Big, juicy, home-style, meaty, full-of-proteins, made-from-scratch, tasty Burgers. With this thought in mind I walked calmly but with purpose towards the kitchen. As I opened the fridge, there was my main ingredient – 500g of fresh prime ground beef, lean. I grinned. As the mood for cooking stroke me, I poured myself a glass of Carménère and decided to stream a bit of Louis Armstrong to the kitchen speakers. The first song was “Frim-Fram Sauce”, which I thought was appropriate for the moment so I cranked up the volume.
And then there was trouble. I forgot to buy bread! Dagnabbit! Burgers were no longer an option – I refuse to be one of those people who eat breadless burgers. It’s an abomination and goes against the natural order of things. As I scrambled to find an alternative, I ransacked the pantry and found a bunch of different things, but something stood out. Beans. I had not one, not two, but three different kinds of beans! Kidney, black and white. I grinned again as a new tasty idea formed in my mind.
How did I not think of this in the first place? A chili would be perfect in this weather! The juicy beef, with the three kinds of beans all of which have their own distinct textures and flavour notes, garlic, generous helpings of onion and tomatoes, some black olives, some herbs, a dash (or two) of tabasco… As I imagined how it might turn out I felt as if my stomach had also goten excited with the prospect begun to mimic the ruckus from outside the window, now demanding to be fed immediately.
So I took the first of several sips from my wine and got started. Here’s what I did:
I took my dinner with me, the music now flowing from the livingroom’s speakers – still Mr. Armstrong. The song was now “Struttin’ with some barbecue”. Very upbeat and lively, in stark contrast to the view from the window. It was still pouring down or rather the raindrops swirled around changing direction at the will of tempestuous winter wind.
As I sat down and put my feet up on the sofa with my Kindle on my lap, my glass of wine next to me and my bowl of chili in my hands. Took the first spoonful and it was good. Very good.
- - 500g prime ground beef
- - 200g kidney beans
- - 200g black beans
- - 200g white beans
- - 2 large tomatoes chopped
- - 1 clove of garlic
- - 1 large red onion chopped, half coarse, half fine
- - 1 tbsp olive oil
- - a handful of seeded black olives, chopped
- - 1 tsp powdered paprika
- - 1 tsp powdered cayenne pepper
- - a few jalapeños, chopped
- - 1 pinch of tabasco sauce
- - 1 pinch of parsley
- - 1 pinch of oregano
- - 1 pinch of marjoran
- - 1 pinch of cilantro
- - sea salt and pepper
- Wash your hands, you are going to use them to mix everything - no substitute for getting your hands in there and really feel what you are doing.
- Drain all the beans to get rid of the sauce they might have come with in the cans.
- Peel the garlic clove and cut it in 3 or 4 pieces. Have it at hand with the tomatoes, onion, olives, etc.
- Put the ground beef in a large bowl. Add the finely chopped half of the onion, olives, paprika, cayenne, the herbs, salt and pepper. Mix it all thoroughly with your hands. Be sure not to add the tabasco or the jalapeños yet or you might irritate your skin!
- In a medium-sized saucepan, put the tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high. Smash the garlic and toss it in the saucepan along with the coarse half of the chopped onion and the chopped jalapeños. Stir-fry them a bit until the onion starts to get golden.
- Once the onion is golden, add the mixed beef in the saucepan and stir vigorously for a couple of minutes and then pour in the beans, lower the heat to medium, add the dash of tabasco if you feel like it and stir gently for about 10 to 15 minutes. You want to get a thick consistency, but trust your nose, the aroma will let you know when it's ready.
P.S. Should anyone be interested, the book I mentioned above is Judas Unchained, a Science-Fiction masterpiece by Peter F. Hamilton. It is the second book in his Commonwealth Saga”.