recipe: four bean apple chili

I love chili. It’s such an amazing stew that combines such diversity in idea. All you need to make a chili is, well, chilis… after all, that’s the name sake. Everything else, well that’s golden, unless, you’re from Texas, then it better have beef and no beans, or New Mexico, then it better have beans but not pasta, or from Ohio, and then it had better have all three and then some… but apart from the regional differences and the terrible reconstruction of it from the 50s Red Books that made people believe that the base should be tomatoes and there might not even need a chili spice there’s oh, so much you can, and should do with your chili.

I’ve spent the better part of the last four years or so experimenting with chili recipes. A bunch I’ve included on the blog as chili or one-pot-meals and some I have held aside as I continue to work on them and look for suggestions for this most divine of stews… but here’s today’s love an affection, but the vegitarian version of the pork and apple chili I devised several years ago. The trip apple picking was amazing and the conversations made me considering doing an new version and one of the new varieties I found helped inspire this recipe, which, I am savoring… now and for the next week

6 apples of mixed type, with peels & cores (Stayman Winesap x4 and one each empire and red delish from our picking, but chose your own locals going more for slightly sour to sweet & bitter)
2-3 poblano peppers (green bells are a sweeter substitute)
1 red onion
1 large yam
3-4 stalks of celery (retain the leaves for finishing)
6-8 large cloves of garlic
sea salt
dried Bay leaves
coriander (whole seeds)
smoked (hungarian or portuguese) paprika
chili powder (most store bought are ancho but any dried ground is good)
black pepper (whole corns)
dark red kidney beans
red beans
dark pinto beans
black beans

if the beans are dried, bring to a boil in salted water with Bay, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Paprika & chili powder as desired and allow to mellow overnight, drain and reserve

In a large stock pot start a roux with equal parts flour and butter (by weight)
work the roux through the rest of the prep process until it is almost brick in color

Peel the apples and reserve the peels
core the apples and reserve the cores
take the apple slices and dice them into 1″ pieces
contain the apple pieces in a large bowl with bourbon, bay and salt
contain the peels and cores in a large stock pot with water, bay and salt, bay leaves, whole pepper corns and coriander seeds
Bring the stock pot of the apples up to a boil and back down to a simmer, use the stock throughout the process

Cut the onion in half
cut the yam in half lengthwise (if desirable in quarters all lengthwise)
de-paper the garlic
In a broiler or on a hot grill, place the whole peppers, onion halves, yams, and garlic and allow to char but not burn and remove from heat when fully charred
place the peppers in a sealed container immediately from heat
de-skin the peppers and the yams and allow to cool slightly
remove the skins from the yams
remove the skins and seeds from the peppers, retain the liquid
dice all separately

Add the celery to the stock pot with the roux
Allow the celery to mellow as the roux coats it
Add the peppers, onion, garlic and retained liquids from these veggies to the pot and allow it to work into the roux over low heat and allow to simmer
Add diced chipoltes, Bay leave, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Paprika and chili powder and allow to simmer in the juices of the veggies and a shot of bourbon
Add the diced yams
Spoon in ladles, as necessary, of the apple core / skin stock as necessary to retain a very thick consistency, of that of warm peanutbutter and allow to simmer

Add the a little more than 3/4 apple slices along with the liquid (bourbon, salt and apple juices) to the veggie mixture along with spooning a ladle or two of the apple stock and allow to simmer
Re-season the mixture with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Paprika & chili powder as necessary to attain the strength of flavor you wish for each

Allow all the continue simmer for a few hours until the apples are almost completely broken down, add extra apple stock as necessary to retain the viscosity
In the last 20-30 minutes, add the remaining apples along with another full shot of bourbon and re-season with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Paprika & chili powder as necessary
In the last 10-15 minutes, add the drained beans and allow to simmer covered

Typically, I would sever over rice or grits or another similar starch, with some finely shredded curly kale, or collard. Use a little bit of hot sauce (Crystal, of course, but whatever your taste is…)


About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny:
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