This Reconstructed Chili is a recipe from Chuck White, Sheryl Crow’s personal chef.
“This is a family recipe that my parents’ parents passed down to them. When we were young, Mom and Dad made it with beef, but because I am a vegetarian and Sheryl likes to eat as healthfully as possible, I switched out the beef and substituted ground soy. Made with soy, the chili tastes just as robust and intense as beef-based chili.”
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground soy and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the soy. Add cumin, chili powder, paprika, and chili flakes and continue to cook, stirring, until the spices are slightly toasted and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Using a wooden spoon to prevent sticking, stir in half of the beer and the soy sauce. Add the rest of the beer and stir to mix.
3. Add the chili hot beans, pinto beans, tomatoes, and 1 cup of water and mix well. Add the bay leaves and oregano and stir to mix.
4. Bring the chili to a low boil over medium-high heat and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so until the stew is well blended. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes, until the flavors blend. Stir the chili occasionally during cooking.
5. Serve with crumbled saltines or cornbread, and some extra hot sauce, if desired.
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