Texas Tailgate Chili

All week I’ve been looking forward to adapting this chili recipe to make use of the local, fresh produce and protein I have on hand.  I made several changes and the finished product is delicious!! I substituted fresh pintos and tomatoes for the canned ingredients in the original recipe, plus I added a 1/2 bottle of Shiner (local beer, of course!) and used a mix of local ground turkey and pork sausage instead of factory-farmed beef.

This chili been simmering on my stove for about 2 hours now, and it’s still going strong.  It should be mighty flavorful in time for the Texas Tech beatdown tonight at 7:00.

Texas Tailgate Chili
1.5 cups fresh pinto beans
1 onion, chopped
1.5 lbs ground meat (I used turkey thighs + pork sausage)
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, diced
6 large garden tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used these since I didn’t have more fresh beans on hand)
3 Tbs. canned organic tomato paste
1/2 bottle Shiner beer
1/4 c. chili powder
1 Tbs. cumin
1 Tbs. paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

The preparation is pretty basic.  First cook the pinto beans in a medium-sized saucepan.*  Brown the meat in a separate, large soup pot.  Chop the vegetables and add them to the meat mixture as you go.  Start with the onions and peppers and work your way to the more delicate tomatoes.  Be careful to get lots of tomato liquid (tomato snot, as my sister in-law Tara calls it) into the pot so you’ll have enough cooking liquid in the chili. Add the tomato paste and stir.

By the time you finish chopping  all the vegetables, the pinto beans will likely be tender.  Drain those and add them, plus canned beans, to the pot. Next pour in that beer!  Add seasonings and simmer for at least half an hour.  I plan on keeping my pot of chili on the stove on low for most of the day so the flavors are really developed for game time. Serve over tortilla chips, baked potatoes, hot dogs, or on its own with chopped raw onions and shredded cheddar cheese.  And Hook ’em Horns!!!

* Don’t be intimidated by fresh beans! To cook: them rinse them very well under cold running water.  Put them in a saucepan and cover with plenty of water. (Beans should be submerged, plus a few inches of water.) Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 35-45 minutes.  Drain.

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