Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vegan Chili (and you would never know it)

Snowed in for the past few days, I was making due with what I could find stashed away in the cupboards and freezer. Chili seems appropriate, but I had no ground meat. I riffled through the freezer and, way at the bottom beneath a half used bag of petite pois, I found Morning Star Farms Ground Vegetarian Beef. 

I have used this in Shepard's Pie before and had great success with it. Luckily, it worked in this recipe, too-- after a day of sledding, the kids licked their bowls clean.

1tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
2 fat cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 pound vegan ground (minced) beef
1 bottle amber beer (I used Saranac, Sam Adams would be good, or Bass Ale in the UK)
1/2 square (1/2 ounce/15 grams) unsweetened chocolate
28 ounce/795 grams tin crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups/450 ml water
2 beef or vegetable bullion cubes
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon chili powder
dash of oregano
dash of thyme
14 ounce/400 grams tin red kidney beans, lightly drained
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
Sea salt to taste

1) Heat the oil in a large pot, add in the onion and garlic, cook until soft then add in the vegan beef and cook for just a moment. Now add in the beer and bring to a simmer then add in the unsweetened chocolate and allow to melt. Stir, then add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water and bouillon cubes, and all the spices, just not the beans, red pepper flakes, or salt. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat so that it just occasionally bubbles. Cook uncovered for at least 30 minutes, but up to several hours (just watch the liquid level and add more water of needed). 30 minutes before serving, pour in the beans, continue to cook then season with red pepper flakes and sea salt, if needed.

I served with Fritos, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and plain yogurt (rather than sour cream)-- although this changed it from vegan to lacto-ovo, it was still pretty tasty.

Makes 6 bowls.

No comments: