We love chili around our house, any variety. Beef or turkey, with or without beans, with or without pasta, with or without corn, Cincinnati-style or Tex-Mex chili, mild or mouth-blistering, we’ll eat it. I like to make chili with a cooked-all-day flavor that takes only an hour. It can be done! All you need is a pressure cooker.
I’m currently at work on my new cookbook, HASTY TASTY MEALS UNDER PRESSURE, experimenting with all our favorites using a pressure cooker. Mine is twenty years old, and has all the safety features missing from earlier models. But newer cookers are available now, including the electric models that have push-button selections and timers. I haven’t tried one yet, but my friend swears by hers.
Here is my latest version of chili using the pressure cooker method. You certainly can use canned chili beans and cut the cooking time, but cooking from dried gives me more control over my ingredients. However, I use canned corn if fresh is out of season (after rinsing and draining).
Don’t want to use a pressure cooker? No problem. Adapt the recipe for your slow cooker and cook on Low for 6 hours, or until beans are tender.
Hasty Tasty Chili
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pound ground lean meat or turkey
- 1 pound dried pinto beans (I make an assortment of pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, and red or pink beans)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon chili seasoning (I use Bloemer‘s brand)
- 1 10 oz. can Rotel® diced tomatoes and green chilies (Pick your heat level)
- 1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz. can whole kernel corn or 2 cups fresh corn kernels (Optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 32 oz. filtered water (or replace some of the water with a bottle or can of beer)
- Kosher salt
- Spray inside of a six-quart/liter pressure cooker pot with cooking spray. Preheat over medium.
- Add meat, stirring occasionally to brown. When meat starts browning, add the onions and garlic.
- Stir in chili seasoning.
- After rinsing and inspecting dried beans for any debris, spread the beans over the browned meat mixture.
- Cover the beans with the contents of the can of corn (optional). Add the filtered water and bay leaf (be sure beans are completely covered with liquid).
- Close pressure cooker, increase heat to medium/high, and watch closely for it to reach pressure. When pressure valve jiggles, lower heat to the lowest setting possible while maintaining pressure. (Most models emit a low hiss when at correct pressure. If your cooker makes a lot of noise, lower the heat)
- Once cooker reaches pressure, time for 40 minutes.*
- Remove from heat and allow pressure to drop on its own, approximately ten minutes.
- Carefully open the cooker (watch that steam!) and check beans for tenderness. They should be a bit firm at this point. Add the contents of the cans of Rotel and tomato sauce. Stir, close cooker, and bring back to pressure.
- Cook an additional 10 minutes under pressure. After pressure drops on its own for 10 minutes, release pressure and open the cooker.
- Test for seasoning and add salt to taste. Stir and serve with your choice of toppings.
*Pressure cookers vary by model. You may need more time if your cooker is 10 psi instead of 15 psi. As you use your cooker, you’ll learn to judge its cooking time. Just remember, it’s easy to quick-release pressure, check your food, and then return to pressure for additional cooking time. Also, the new electric cookers take the guesswork out of timing.
(For my readers who live in higher elevations, keep in mind my elevation here in Florida is about 100 feet. You will need to add cooking time if you live above 2000 feet.)
There is a growing trend of going meatless on Mondays. I’m no vegetarian or vegan, but I certainly see the advantages to “Meatless Mondays.” Choosing one day a week to enjoy meals without meat, seafood, or poultry gives me the opportunity to stretch my creative cooking muscles. I look for ways to boost fiber and nutrition while saving a buck (meatless meals almost always cost less). Black Bean Chili is my contribution to this week’s “Meatless Monday.” If you make this chili, don’t skip the fresh herbs. Chopped fresh cilantro (or if you prefer, parsley) brightens the flavors. You won’t miss the meat!
BLACK BEAN CHILI
There’s no need to presoak beans if you’re using a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, substitute a large (15.5 oz.) can of black beans for the dried in the recipe. Cook over low heat in a covered saucepan for an hour.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 onion
- 2 – 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups (1 pound) dried black beans
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies
- 1 quart + 1 cup liquid (broth, water, beer—your choice)
- 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro or parsley
- Salt and pepper (optional—taste before adding)
- Juice of one lemon (optional)
- Spray the inside of a 6-quart pressure cooker with the nonstick cooking spray.
- Chop the onion and garlic (I use the Vitamix).
- Over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic. Add the chili powder.
- Rinse beans and remove any hulls. Add beans to the pressure cooker pot.
- Add tomatoes and green chilies, stir to combine, then pour in all the liquid.
- Secure lid to the pressure cooker and bring to pressure.
- Cook under pressure for 35 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat and allow pressure to drop on its own for 5 minutes.
- Carefully release pressure and open pot according to your manufacturer’s instruction.
- (Optional step) Scoop out a cup of the beans and puree then stir in to thicken chili.
- Stir in chopped cilantro (or parsley), the juice of a lemon (optional but good!), and then serve topped with a tablespoon of your favorite topping, such as sour cream, shredded cheese, or salsa.
Yield: 6 1-cup servings
If you prefer chili that’s more soup-like in consistency, increase the liquid to 1½ quarts. Vary the recipe with different kinds of beans and flavorings. Caution: Do not decrease the liquids as they are necessary to pressure cooking safety.
Today is Cinco de Mayo and also Kentucky Derby day. I created a special recipe honoring both events. I hope you’ll try it at your next fiesta.
Cinco de Mayo Casserole
- 1 beer (any kind, including non-alcoholic)
- 1.3 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1 package Bloemer’s* chili seasoning
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 15½ oz. can chili beans
- nonstick cooking spray
- 6 8″ diameter whole-wheat tortillas
- 8 slices Boar’s Head 3-Pepper Jack cheese
- 8 oz. shredded Monterrey jack cheese
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Coat the inside of a 9″ X 13″ casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add beer, ground turkey, and chili seasoning mix. Stir.
- Cover and cook the turkey, lifting lid occasionally to break apart the meat. The turkey should poach in the beer and become fine.
- Cook turkey mixture for ten minutes, covered, then simmer uncovered for five minutes.
- Add chopped onion, canned tomato sauce, and canned chili beans. Stir to combine.
- Cover and remove from heat.
- In the casserole dish, place 2 tortillas in the bottom. They will overlap some, and that’s all right.
- Spoon half the turkey chili (about 4 cups) over the tortillas.
- Cover the chili with the 8 slices of cheese.
- Place 2 tortillas over the cheese.
- Spoon remaining turkey chili over the tortillas.
- Cover turkey chili with 2 more tortillas.
- Spread tortillas with 8 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack cheese until completely covered.
- Place aluminum foil over the casserole dish.
- Bake casserole covered for 30 minutes, then remove the foil for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with the chopped cilantro.
- Allow casserole to cool about 10 minutes before serving.
This casserole can be assembled a day ahead then baked the day you want to serve it.
Yields: 6–8 servings
*Bloemer Food Products are available in Louisville and online at http://www.bloemerfoods.com/
Cinco de Mayo Casserole
As we begin fall, the season of tailgate parties and cooler weather, we dig out our favorite chili recipes. Although most of the time, we make a Tex-Mex style chili, I make this recipe for a change of pace.
Skyline Chili restaurant has been a favorite of our family–especially my nephew (Happy birthday, Joe!), but there are no Skyline Chili restaurants where we live. I needed to develop a Skyline knock off. It took work, but I did it. Wait till you taste my version of their famous, Cincinnati-style chili. I shaved off about an hour of cooking time by using a pressure cooker. Make this one a day ahead to do it right!
[For an added treat, spoon chili over a cooked wiener in a bun then top with shredded cheese.]
Makes 8 servings
2 large onions chopped
2 pounds extra-lean ground beef or lean ground turkey (Or 1 of each)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa or 1/2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
2 (16-ounce) packages uncooked dried spaghetti pasta (I use whole grain thin spaghetti for added fiber)
Toppings: 1 can red beans, rinsed
1 sweet onion, diced
1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
In a large (4 qt) pot (I use the pot to my pressure cooker), add water and meat. Boil meat for 30 minutes, stirring often to separate the meat. Add remaining ingredients (except pasta and toppings) and bring to a boil. Put on the lid and seal, bring to pressure, then cook under pressure for 45 minutes¹. Remove from heat and allow pressure to drop on its own. When cooled, transfer chili to a glass or plastic container. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, skim off any congealed fat from the top of the chili and remove bay leaf. To serve, return to large pot and warm over low heat. Meanwhile, cook the pasta, dice onions, shred cheese (if necessary) and warm the beans. To serve three way, ladle ½ to ¾ cup of the chili over a ½ cup spaghetti then top with 2 oz. shredded cheese. Four way: add either 2 Tablespoons of beans or 2 Tablespoons diced sweet onion. Five way: add both beans and onion.
¹If you aren’t using a pressure cooker, you need to cook uncovered for 1 hour then covered an additional hour.