From Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything with some liberties taken.
Yes, we combine all of his variations into 1.
- 1 pound dried beans (Black or King of the Early!)
- 1-2 lbs ground pork or Italian sausage, ground turkey or other farm fresh meat
- 2 onions, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup bean-cooking liquid or stock (we prefer the stock)
- 2-3 quarts canned tomatoes and/or tomato puree or frozen tomatoes
- 1 fresh or dried hot chile, seeded, stemmed and minced, or to taste or hot sauce (optional)
- 1 -2 tablespoons chili powder, to taste (start slow)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Our other additions:
- Handful of dried tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Carrots, diced
- Leftover cooked pumpkin or squash
- Other dried hot peppers (jalapenos, habeneros and we really like some of penzeys Aleppo & ground chipotle)
- hot sauce
If using dried beans, choose your soaking & cooking method. We usually do the quick soak (bring to boil for 2 minutes, turn off, cover and let sit for an hour or two), then rinse, start with fresh water and cook them. Bittman encourages cooking them with an onions. See some clear options from Mark Bittman.
Brown meat in skillet or soup pot, add some fat if necessary. Cook, stirring, until the meat has lost its color, about 10 minutes. (We like adding the onions here so they also get a bit sautéed, but Bittman adds them with all other ingredients.) Season the meat with salt, pepper, and about 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste. Stir it into the beans along with the other ingredients
Combine meat, beans and all other ingredients, turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil, Cover and turn heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if necessary, about 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning as necessary. (This is where we spent a bunch of time, adding both for seasoning as well as volume balance and texture -more tomatoes, more spice, more onion…)
Garnish with Cilantro, diced red onions, cheese, hot sauce, etc. and serve with rice, crackers or tortilla chips.