Our guests brought a spectacular Croatian wine straight from the Madirazza winery -- a red which complemented the chili perfectly. I usually go for a cold beer with a spicy meal, but this wine was the perfect accompaniment: deep, strong and full of late-season flavours.
What you need (6-8 servings):
- pinto beans, cooked from dry (2 heaping cups) with bacon
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- dollop olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 bell peppers or yellow paprikas, chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- cayenne pepper, hot paprika and/or chili powder to taste (last night, we used just under 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, and the chili was pleasantly but not overwhelmingly spicy)
- ~ 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
What you do:
- Cook up the pinto beans, initially covering them with 1 inch of water.
- Near the end of the bean cooking time, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Over medium-low heat, cook the onions and garlic until translucent. Once the beans are finished, add the onions and garlic to the bean pot (do not drain the beans!). Over low-ish heat, get the bean pot simmering gently.
- Add the tomatoes and bell pepper, and stir well. Add all spices and adjust to taste.
- Stir the cocoa into a small amount of hot water, then add to the chili. Stir well. Taste again and add more spice if needed.
- Let simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, to let the flavours blend.
- Serve with cornbread and rice!