Welcome goblins, settle down ghouls… it’s time for Halloween Chili.
h/t my favorite Halloween album of all time Halloween Hootenanny.
On Halloween night, I want a dinner that sticks to the ribs of my trick or treaters, a buffer from the high fructose corn syrup binge that is coming. I want beans, meat, and a little heat to cut through the sugar that’s on the way. And, I want a chili I can throw together during the afternoon, so I have time to answer the steady stream of witches and robots knocking on the door.
And pass out some more high fructose corn syrup. Hey, it’s one day a year.
This recipe isn’t a one pot affair - I use two pots, because I have to use dried beans. I don’t have anything against canned beans; I’ll use them in a pinch, but dried beans have so much more flavor, and they build their own thickened broth. The downside of dried beans is the science of bean cooking - they will never soften if they are cooked with acidic ingredients. Like, um…chili powder and tomatoes, two of my major ingredients. That’s OK - while the beans are cooking, I sauté all the other ingredients, and add them for a last half hour of simmering to bring everything together.
Or an hour of simmering. A pack of little girls arrived at the door, eight little Elsas from Frozen. They were the crest of the wave; candy was going out as fast as I could shovel it into the bags. By the time I looked up, my half hour of simmering turned into a whole hour.