Meadowlark Chili v 1.0

There is a meadowlark on the Beaudry Park sign. I made this chili after deciding not to paddle in the early winter ice floes on the Assiniboine River on sunny, windy day in November. I started with someone else’s recipe, but I changed so much that I can report this as my own experiment that turned out well. I would change a few things so don’t follow each step unless you have read through to the end. On the question of spices, you may want it hotter or less spicy.

I made it in a 5 quart dutch oven. It is heavy on the tomatoes, light on the beans, spiced for flavour rather than for raw burning power. The quantities filled the pot. I was cooking with a view to freezing some for quick meals later. I served Claire (not yet a vegan) and myself and had enough leftovers to fill 4 25 oz (750 ml) plastic containers. I would say this should be enough, with chips and bread on the side, to make 8-10 hearty servings or perhaps a dozen smaller servings.

I used:

  • 2 large onions,
  • 1 large red bell pepper,
  • 1 large green bell pepper,
  • 2 jalapeno peppers,
  • 6 medium-large cloves of garlic.

I chopped the onion and the bell peppers into smallish pieces – under an inch. I think I could have cut the onions and bell peppers smaller, down to chunks the size of kidney beans, but the idea is to make the pieces small, not necessarily to dice it fine. I minced the garlic and chopped the jalapeno peppers finely.

I heated some canola oil in the dutch oven and began to sauté the fresh vegetables. I gave it a couple of minutes before adding the meat. I used:
1 pound (400 grams) of ground pork, and 1 pound (400 grams) of lean ground beef. I had to stir this a lot to get all the meat down on the bottom, and to keep breaking up the meat into smaller chunks. After the meat was browned and broken up, and onions were soft. I deglazed with most of a can of beer, and added two 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes. I added spices and flavour ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons store-bought chili powder
  • a shot of tequila;
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper;
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce;

I simmered for about 45 minutes – before adding beans. I added a 28 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained, and kept simmering until I had reduced the liquid down to a thick soup. I added a cup or a cup and half of fresh mushrooms washed and sliced.

I served it with grated cheese, tortilla chips and some bread to sop up the juices.

I found this to be juicy , and it needed a long time simmering to reduce the liquid. I would probably do a couple things differently. I think a can of beer – about a cup and a half was too much, and I would use a little less than a cup. The diced tomatoes have a lot of juice. Two cans made about 7 cups. I might use one large can, or one large and one smaller (the 12 or 14 oz size. I might use two cans whole tomatoes and chop them by hand, or fresh tomatoes – maybe 4 cups. I think I could use a medium can of tomato sauce instead of one of the cans of diced tomatoes. I think it needs to be juicy at the beginning.

I would use more beans. I would probably add a 24 or 28 oz can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained, at the same stage I added the black beans. I think the mushrooms were optional. I could use less, especially if there were more beans. They don’t need to cook that long so they can go in much later than the rest of the ingrediants.


3 responses to “Meadowlark Chili v 1.0”

  1. Steve Avatar

    I am now wiping the saliva off my keyboard.
    Just the thought of chili makes me hungry.
    Mike gave me a recipe, but I lost it. I’ll try this one because it is handy and online.

  2. Had some delicious chili on Thursday evening, with some Pugliese and San Fran sourdough bread. My mouth is watering as well.!

  3. Brave Kelso Avatar
    Brave Kelso

    Did you make it yourself? Will you make this one and compare? Cooking is not a survival skill – it is a skill for joyful living.