Jim’s 20-Bean Chili

There will be no food photos accompanying this post as it takes a more skilled photographer than I to make a bowl of chili look appealing in a photograph, no matter how delicious it tastes. Don’t be put off by the peanut butter, this is Jim’s secret ingredient and it gives the chili a great creamy body without any discernible flavor. This chili is delicious and spicy, and makes a huge amount. Set half aside to freeze for next week!

Jim’s 20-Bean Chili

1 2 lb. bag of 20 Bean Soup mix
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
4 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
1 tablespoon mild chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 pinches of ground cinnamon
3 sweet red peppers, chopped
1 chipotle pepper, minced
2 cans of chopped tomatoes, or 3 chopped fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons of peanut butter

Before you leave in the morning, pour the 20 Bean Soup dry beans into your crockpot. Discard the flavoring packet. Add plenty of water and a tablespoon of salt, turn on to low, cover and let cook for the day.

When you get home, turn off the crockpot and drain off most of the water. You don’t want the cooked beans to be dry, but you want the water level to be below the level of the beans. Cook the ground beef in a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot until completely cooked through and chopped up really well. Drain off most of the fat and return everything to the hot pot. Add garlic through sweet peppers and let everything fry briefly with the meat until fragrant. Add chipotle, tomatoes and peanut butter and stir until the peanut butter is mixed in thoroughly, then add the beans and bean liquid. Bring the chili up to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes. Taste for salt and spiciness, and only add salt after this point. The longer you can let it simmer, stirring occasionally, the better.

Top with sour cream, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese or my favorite, crumbled queso fresco. Serves 10 generously.

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