Heirloom Bean Chili with Winter Squash and Collards

Heirloom Bean Chili with Winter Squash and CollardsIt’s still all about comfort food here in the North! Dreams of warmer days to come are realized with a bit of south of the border are in this warming chili recipe, spiked with Mexican chili peppers! Heirloom beans, heritage beef and the addition of winter squash and greens make my chili super nutritious!

First make the beans:

2 cups heirloom beans, such as Vallarta or Silvia(Rancho Gordo)

Water, enough to cover beans by 2 inches

1/2 large onion, peeled and chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

3 bay leaves

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried cumin powder

1 teaspoon dried coriander powder

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes

2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon old bay seasoning

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice powder

2 dried chili d’arbol, crushed

1 dried guajillo pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon grey salt

In a large stockpot, combine beans and water with all above ingredients except the salt

Bring to a boil for 5 minutes

Reduce to simmer and cook until beans are render but firm

Add the salt after beans are cooked, set pot of beans aside

Meanwhile make beef mixture:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 IB ground heritage beef

1/2 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 pasillo pepper , chopped

Pinch of cumin and Aleppo pepper

1 can stewed tomatoes

In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil on medium high

Add the beef and brown with the onion and pasillo pepper

Add the stewed tomatoes, cumin and allspice

Simmer for 5-8 minutes

Then add this beef mixture to the beans

Now prepare the squash and greens:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 winter squash, such as acorn, cubed

2 cups+ chopped collard greens

Water or broth, as needed

Cilantro, roughly chopped

Cheddar cheese, grated

Wipe out skillet, heat olive oil on medium high

Add squash and collards

Stir fry until squash is browned and collards are tender, about 5 minutes

Add this to the bean and beef mixture

Add water or broth, if needed

Correct seasoning if desired

Simmer another 25-30 minutes

Serve chili over boiled potatoes

Garnish with cilantro and cheddar cheese

Serve hot corn tortillas on the side

Rose or white wine is perfect!