Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cluster Fork Chili

Cluster Fork Chili... the first in my "Cluster Fork" series of recipes. Leftovers, mishaps, and poor time management culminated in one of my most delicious recipes to date.

I've stated in a previous post that I love cowboy beans. I love sweet, heat and spice together and that is exactly what ground beef, taco seasoning and Bush's Baked Beans have when they bump heads in the same pan. And I'm always on the lookout for a way to duplicate Bush's Baked Beans for that purpose.

A few weeks back I bought a bag of dried cranberry beans. NEVER HEARD OF THEM BEFORE. That, in fact, is why I bought them. Something new to try. I did some Googling, but never really came up with a recipe that tickled my taste buds, so yesterday I decided to just soak and boil them, then figure out what to do with them.

Last night we had tacos for dinner. First ingredient in Cluster Fork Chili... leftover taco meat, about a pound's worth.

I then took about a half a pound of cooked cranberry beans, tossed them in a crock pot, seasoned them with salt and pepper, then added the taco meat on top. Next I sauteed some green pepper, onion and garlic in some olive oil, added in 8 ounces of tomato sauce, 1/3 cup ketchup, 1 tsp mustard, 2 TBSP molasses, 2 TBSP worchestershire sauce, 1 TBSP brown sugar, 1 beef bouillon cube and a dash of cayenne pepper. After allowing some simmer time to marry those flavors, I then added them to the crockpot.

Additionally, I tossed in one dried, stemmed and seeded Cascabel pepper (I love http://www.penzeys.com/) I stirred the whole shebang thoroughly, tossed on the lid, then simmered on low for 4 hours. About half way through I noticed the beans were looking kind of dry so I stirred in about a cup of V-8 juice. (Remove Cascabel pepper shell before serving)

Before serving, stir in some pepper jack cheese and top with some crumbled baked Tostito chips. This had enough kick to make it seriously good without making it seriously spicy. Perfect blend of flavors

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