Soups and Salads
If you like beans and you like chili, you will definitely like this recipe. You won't be disappointed!
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
1-2 peppers, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 ½ tsp. table salt or 2 ½ tsp. kosher or coarse salt
1 12-ounce bottle beer
1 24 oz. jar Marina’s Italian Style Tomato Sauce
1 ½ cups mixed dried beans
3 ½ -4 cups water
1/3 cup maple syrup
Heat oil in the bottom of a medium-sized heavy pot or Dutch oven (if finishing on the stove), in the pot of a pressure-cooker, or in a large skillet (if finishing in a slow-cooker). Once warm, add onion and cook for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add any fresh peppers and cook for 3 more minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt and cook for 2 minutes, until browned and deeply fragrant. Add beer and scrape up any bits stuck to the pot. Boil until reduced by half, or, if you are worried about alcohol content, until it has all but disappeared.
If finishing on the stove: Add tomato sauce, dried beans, any dried or rehydrated-and-pureed chilles and the smaller amount of water. Bring mixture to a full boil and boil for one minute, then reduce heat to a very low, gentle simmer, place lid on your pot, and cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the last ½ cup water if mixture seems to be getting dry.
If finishing in a slow-cooker: Scrape onion, spice, and beer mixture into a slow-cooker. Add tomato sauce, dried beans, any dried and rehydrated-and-pureed chilles and the smaller amount of water. Cook on high for 6 to 7 hours, until beans are tender. Add extra water if necessary.
If finishing in a pressure-cooker: Follow the directions from your pressure-cooker manufacturer; estimated time to prepare the dish in this way is 20 to 22 minutes on high.
Serve as is or with lime wedges, sour cream, diced white onion, cilantro, corn or flour tortillas, or tortilla chips or rice.
If you want a milder chili, use one bell pepper or one fresh poblano which a very mild pepper. Two fresh jalapenos will give you a little more heat, and two small dried chiles will give the dish even more kick. Or, if you like extra-spicy, you can also use 1 to 2 chipotle en adobo peppers from a can. If using dried chiles, cover them with a bit of boiling water until they’re soft and then puree them. This will help incorporate the flavor into your chili. If you feel this is too much work, you can also cook the chiles with the dried beans to infuse the beans with spicy flavor.
If you would rather clearly taste the dried chiles, skip the powder entirely or reduce the amount.
If you like a less tomato-tasting chili, reduce the amount of tomato sauce by half.
This ingredient is a matter of personal taste. Dos Equis and Negra Modela give the chili a nice, deep flavor.
I used a mix of three beans: 1/3 white beans, 1/3 black beans, and 1/3 pinto beans. If you are nervous that one bean will take longer to cook than the others, you can soak it in water for a half hour while preparing the other ingredients.
To pre-soak beans
The recipe does not require pre-soaking, but pre-soaked beans will cook faster. The length of time to cook depends on the length of the soak. If the beans are soaked for 6 hours or longer, cooking time will be halved. If you do soak your beans, use the 3 ½ to 4 cups listed in the recipe and save the soaking liquid as the water for the recipe.
Using canned beans
1 ½ cups of dried beans will yield approximately 3 to 3 ¾ cups cooked beans. If using already cooked beans, you will want to use 2 to 3 15 oz. cans and skip the water. Simmer all ingredients except for the drained and rinsed beans for 20 minutes. Then add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes more. If the mixture looks dry, add ¼ cup water and simmer for another few minutes.