Doug’s Five Minute, Five Hour, Five Bean Chili makes me think of something Mulan told Belle in the series “Once Upon a Time” convincing her that she could kill a scary monster.
“I never thought I could fight for anything until there was something I really wanted. Once I found something I wanted badly enough, I never gave up.”
This is clearly one of those times where Mr. ST wanted something badly enough. You see, I’m not a chili fan. I have made many bean soups and much white bean chicken chili, but not the kind he likes. He is like most people in the world, at least in America, as he can’t go through a winter without having a huge pot of it on the stove at least once. He wanted it. He learned to make it so well that his five minute, five hour five bean chile has totally won me over.
Yesterday I decided to pay attention to what he did. Right in the beginning I was in disagreement. Why so many different beans? Why not cook the onion first. Why an orange bell pepper? (Of course, being a smart wife, I kept my why’s to myself). He had well thought out answers for my questions. The onion needs to melt into the chili on its own. The orange bell pepper lends sweetness. He spoke like an expert, and I was satisfied.
Why, why, why ended at the dinner table with more, more, more. I sent a bowl home with a friend who can be a picky eater and honest about it. She texted me “this is so good, I can’t stop eating.”
This chili is creamy due to the masa he sprinkled in and the long long cooking time. He cooked it for 7 hours, but says five hours is enough to get that creamy consistency. The meat mixture was interesting, The pork and beef added flavor, and the turkey helped to cut the fat. The orange bell pepper was sweet and the dash of cinnamon was genius. The prep time is really five minutes, if you can chop fast. There is almost no hard work outside of opening several cans. Usually, Spinach Tiger doesn’t cook from too many cans, and one could make this with dried beans, but that would take a long time and is not necessary. It’s a matter of weighing out the decision to use dry beans as a purist, or the interest of five different kinds. I choose the five.
You can put it all in a crock pot or in a cast iron dutch oven. He made two batches and did both. If you do use a cast iron dutch oven, I recommend a heat of 300 or even less in the oven, so the heat is hitting evenly. If you keep the dutch oven on the stove, turn the heat to as low as you can get it.
I did a little bit of googling and was intrigued with chili history. An entire book or two could be written about the history of chili, the legends, the myths and the abundant number of recipes. I can’t think of a food in America that has drummed up more passion for it’s history or its varying recipes as a bowl of chili. I imagine there have been many fights, even a few knock outs over recipes and ownership.
- The most debated fact about chile is where and how it exactly originated. It is thought to most likely have started in Texas amongst poor people who had tough pieces of meat that needed flavor and long cooking times. There was no beans at first, and in some circles, beans are still not used. The cowboys heading west gave speed and romance to its popularity.
- Chili was often made and perfected in prison. As prisoners got out, they missed the chili and would write for the recipe. Some even rated prisons according to their chili.
- There were chili queens in San Antonio, who broke the barriers of class. They would set up chili stands and cook meat and chili peppers into a stew. People of all walks of life would sit next to each other eating a bowl of chili.
Mr. ST’s Process and Recipe for Five Minute, Five Hour, Five Bean Chili
As far as the recipe, Mr. ST makes it differently every time. He says that every new pot of chili is an experiment. That’s how chili making goes. He has used all ground beef in the past, but decided on three meats this time. He has used only two or three different beans in the past, but has settled upon five kinds. There are as many chili recipes as the cooks making them, actually more, because every chili cook has several recipes they use. That’s the beauty of chili making. He suggests always using the masa, plenty of onion, and cooking a long long time.
There are two other important topics when it comes to chili. How hot and what bread or cracker do you have to have.
Heat is another topic altogether. He always makes two pots, a mild and a super spicy. You have to find your own level of heat. I don’t like to cry when I eat chili so I go for the mild, and he goes for the hot. Many folks like cornbread with their chili. He goes for crackers, and I like soft buttered bread. Again, chili sparks arguments, but that’s part of the fun
So tell me, do you have a special chili recipe, and do you like it mild, medium or super hot?
- 1 can black Beans (see note on beans)
- 1 can kidney Beans
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 1 can red Beans
- 1 can pinto peans
- 1 ground chuck
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ pound ground turkey
- 1 extra large orange pepper (can use green, or red)
- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 2 large onions, diced
- 1 red chili pepper, seeded and diced (or any pepper of your choice)
- 1 chili starter mix (option) or the following seasonings:
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (more or less to your taste)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- dash cinnamon (this is not in chili starter mix)
- sea salt
- ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon masa
- Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown the meat. in small pieces in frying pan. Rinse the beans with water to reduce the sodium.
- Put in crock pot. Add tomatoes, peppers, onion and seasonings, except the masa.
- If you don’t use a chili starter kit, use the spice ingredients that followed.
- Sprinkle the masa after the chili has cooked for 2 hours. Continue to cook in low setting of crock pot for 5 more hours.
- Note: It’s not necessary to cook the chili this long, but cook the chili at least four hours.
- Serve with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream, if desired. I find this chili so rich due to the masa, that sour cream isn’t necessary.
- Note on beans: You need the to use kidney beans and black beans, but feel free to mix your beans as you please.
- Note on meat: You can choose to just use ground turkey or ground beef.