I’ll be honest, this is not my most favorite time of year. There are more leaves on the ground than in the trees (and they’re not so crisp after all the rain and wind we’ve had lately). The colors have mostly faded to varying shades of yellow – greenish yellow, orangey yellow, and even a pale yellow that’s almost translucent. That said, it’s breathtaking – literally – when a vibrant patch of red shows up. The sky, even when it’s sunny has a grayish color to it, and don’t even get me started on how early night falls around here….all signs that winter is not far off.
All that’s true but I do love late Fall for the slow cooking – lots of stews and chilies and soups. It’s been a while since I’m mentioned any more favorite kitchen toys and I realized that my beautiful Copco Dutch oven (made in Denmark) has been sitting on my stove for the last week or so and will stay there for many months to come. It was one of my first “fancy” pots bought too many years ago to mention. It’s porcelain coated cast iron, cobalt blue on the outside and white on the inside (to always showoff the food) and it still looks brand new. I love the weight of it, the pure gorgeous colors (it goes right to the table to impress everyone). The fact that nothing sticks and it’s so easy to clean is an added bonus.
This week I’ve already made an easy (well just about everything I make is easy) tomato based oven stew with chunks of beef , mushrooms, onions, carrots and potatoes; my family’s favorite chili with red kidney beans and a mixture of ground (I know, I know there are many of you chili fans who think it’s sacrilege to use ground meat) pork and beef; and one with cured chorizo sausages and three kinds of beans in a truly awesome sauce. I’m still testing for the cookbook and I’m hoping to have an e-version ready before the holidays.
Chorizo & Bean Chili
From Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories
Hands on time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 1 - 1.5 hours
Serves 8 and freezes well
2 tbsp olive oil
8 oz/200 g cured Chorizo sausages, thinly sliced
2 ½ cups onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup dark molasses
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp Chipotle chili powder or mashed canned chipotle in adobo sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup Cider vinegar
¼ tsp each ground cloves & ground allspice
1/3 cup bottled chili sauce
1 (159oz/540 ml) can each Black beans, Kidney beans, and Pinto beans, rinsed & drained
chopped cilantro for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF/170°C.
2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and sauté 2 minutes. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients, adding beans last. Mix well.
3. Bake uncovered for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Taste after 30 minutes or so and adjust seasonings as required.
All you need is some crusty bread and a salad and you’re all set.