All right, I know, enough with the black beans already! The posting of this recipe, as well as my Black Bean and Wheat Berry Chili with Turkey Sausage, comes from the fact that I made black beans just a few days ago, and therefore wanted to show a few ways in which I use them.
I work very hard to be economical in my kitchen, I don’t buy or make things that I don’t have some sort of plan for because I absolutely hate to waste food. Learning how to maximize your ingredients and to reduce the amount of waste in your kitchen, is not always a simple as it might sound, but it is, in my opinion, a very important skill to attempt to master. Such an endeavor requires creativity in cooking and the willingness to experiment.
I apologize for posting two chili recipes so close together, but this chili is very different from my classic chili and was simply too good to pass up sharing with you. My Mother is the one who turned me on to this recipe, when she made the original version about a week ago. I have made a few updates, but this southwestern inspired chili is so hardy and flavorful that it is equally good with or without the sausage and makes a fabulous vegetarian meal.
Black beans are a central ingredient in many great recipes, but they can also be a delicious dish in their own right. Being able to make really good, flavorful black beans makes them not only enjoyable on their own, but also boosts the flavor of other dishes in which they are used. This recipe comes from my Mother, who makes a batch of black beans almost every weekend in the winter. This is because she can cook them on top of the wood stove. She simply throws the beans in a pot, with water, puts them on the stove and then goes on to do whatever else she has planned for the day, allowing the beans to cook over low heat for several hours. While we don’t all have this luxury, these beans are easy to make regardless of what kind of stove you cook them on.
This is quite simply, the best traditional chili that I have ever had. My Mom has made it for as long as I can remember from a recipe she got many years ago at one of Vermont’s finest sources of specialty smoked and cured meats, Harrington’s of Vermont. This chili has just the right amount of spice to it, enough so that you feel the heat on your tonge, but not so much that your mouth burns, and it has an excellent bean to meat ratio.