1 cup dry kidney beans (not soaked)
1/3 cup diced onion, red is nice if you have it
1/3 cup diced red and green bell peppers
1 medium carrot, small 1/4-inch dice
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes (optional but adds a brightness, especially those little cherry ones)
1 teaspoon tamari
1 cup crushed or diced tomatoes, canned or bottled
2 teaspoons corn flour mixed with 2 teaspoons water (you can make corn flour by whizzing corn meal in a spice grinder)
A few teaspoons of prepared chili powder mix, or
Make your own chili powder mix:
chili pepper powder (e.g. ancho/chipotle/cayenne)
cloves (just a pinch)
allspice (just a pinch)
Salt to taste when serving. Adding too much salt while cooking will cause the sauce to break down and become thin.
1. Bring beans* and about 2 quarts of water to a boil in a heavy pot or dutch oven. Lower heat and simmer (strong simmer) for 2-3 hours or until beans are soft. Add water to keep level about an inch above beans. Do not drain beans.
2. Add onion, peppers, carrots, garlic, and fresh tomatoes and cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Add tamari, corn flour and water mix, crushed tomatoes, and all the spices you want. Cook until chili thickens and flavors meld, about 30 minutes.
You can cut hours off this recipe by using canned or boxed beans. Just combine the beans with the vegetables in step 2 (and some fluid: water, vegetable broth, or tomato sauce), cook, then continue with step 3.
* I never soak my beans since I discovered that it promotes germination which releases enzymes that make the beans harder to beak down, or, as Harold McGee says, imparts “hard-to-cook bean defect.”
This is thanks to Robert. It started out as baked beans made with kidney beans but at the last minute (ok, hour) I turned it into chili.