Burning heart chili

My beau loves chili, but too much tomato can cause heart burn for him. So I developed this “lower acid” version with a more diverse vegetable mix to deliver the flavor without relying entirely on tomato for the base. I think it’s much better than classic chili and he loves it.

There’s a lot of debate about which bean to use for chili. I had a bag of dry Peruvian Mayacoba beans I’d been wanting to try cooking in my instant pot, so that’s what I used and they did not disappoint.

These were perfect after 30 minutes under high pressure in the instant pot. I used three cups for the chili and will use the rest for refried beans soon. They are very starchy and fall apart naturally making them perfect for that dish.

For the vegetable base, I sautéed yellow onion, bell peppers, garlic and spices in a tablespoon of bacon fat. Then set them aside to cook the beef.

It’s two pounds of ground beef cooked down and then add the vegetable base to that, one can of diced tomatoes and the beans. Cover with broth and simmer.

After about an hour of simmering on low, the flavor was good, but it didn’t have the thickness I’d hoped for. I’d seen this trick on the web and frankly, I have an abundance of masa harina from when I was going to start making my own tortillas (hahahah!), so why not use some? I added two tablespoons of masa harina to the broth. Wow! It thickened perfectly. I simmered this for another hour before serving.

The chili was great on its own, but I put cilantro, green onion, cotija cheese and sour cream out for garnishes. (And these were great, too).

Burning heart chili

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 cups cooked beans
  • 12 mini tri-colored bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups broth
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish of your choice

Sauté diced veggies with spices and then sauté meat and combine, add tomatoes, beans and broth. Simmer one hour, add masa if desired, simmer until dinner is served. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve with the garnishes of your choice.

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