Heirloom Bean, Turkey & Pork Green Chili

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Ever since I made Green Chili last year, my daughter has been asking me to making it again in subtle ways.

Daughter:  Mom, what are you making?  It smells good.

Me:  Chili.

Daughter:  Oooh, is it the green chili?  The one I like?

Me:  Umm, no.  But, you’ll like this one, too.

Daughter:  When are you going to make the one I like again?

Me:  One day.  One day.

Well, today is the day.

I just received my shipmemt of Rancho Gordo beans, and I was excited to try them. Still trying to make some lower sodium alternatives for a friend, so, I decided to use some of the beans in the box for the Green Chili.

On the Rancho Gordo website, it states that these beans do not need as long to presoak as the beans you buy in the grocery, as they were just harvested and dried in the last growing season.  Apparently the beans we buy in the store have already been stored for a year or two before we even buy them,   Which would explain why it takes some beans SOOOO long to cook.  Who knew?

  • 1 cup dry Yellow Eye beans (or one can bean of your choice)

  • 1 cup dry Tarbois beans, or any other white bean (or one can of bean of your choice)

  • 1 medium white onion, minced

  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilis

  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoon mild chili powder (I used guajillo, from Paul Prudhomme’s line)

  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 cup stone ground grits (or polenta)

  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine the 2 cups of dry beans.  Rinse and sort.  Add about 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  They should be fully cooked.  I actually cooked mine separate.  The Yellow Eye beans took 1 1/2 hours, the Cassoulet beans took  2 hours.

In a separate pan, saute the diced onion in olive oil.  Add the ground meats, and cook those too.

 Add all the spices.

Add 4 cups water, and let simmer while beans are cooking.  When the beans are fully cooked, add the beans to the chili.  Whether to drain them is your choice.  I did not, and ended up with a watery chili to which I had to add a little extra grits to thicken it up.  However, there were no complaints from the peanut gallery (who, by the way, has it for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner since I made it).  She has eaten about half the batch by herself.  Taste for salt and pepper and adjust.  Adjust other seasonings if necessary.  (If your spices are old, you may need to use a little bit more; if they are very fresh, you may need less.)

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The verdict on the Rancho Gordo Beans?  They were delicious!  Cooked without salt, just in water, they did take much less time than other beans purchased from the grocery store.  Unprompted, even my husband commented on how creamy both types of beans were, and how flavorful they were sans salt.  Will definitely be keeping an eye out for these.

ON SODIUM:  Cooking the beans from scratch instead of using the canned ones also saved on the sodium content by a good bit, with little sacrifice in taste.  I added no salt until the very end, at which point I tasted and it was very bland.  I added more seasonings (totals above reflect the total I used), and added a tablespoon of salt, which was probably a bit too much.  Next time will try to remember to stick to 2 teaspoons.  The total batch produced about 16 cups.   There are between 6000 and 7080 mg of sodium in a tablespoon.  Let’s say 6700 mg divided by 16 = 418 mg sodium per one cup serving.  The ground turkey also contained 75 mg sodium per 4 oz serving, and the green chilis also contain a good bit of sodium.  Much better numbers than what one would get commercially or in a restaurant.  It’s amazing how quickly it adds up.  I’ve almost stopped adding commercial stock to any of my stews over the last few years mostly becuase I was finding that it was masking the true flavor of the ingredients.  Everything was tasting like chicken!

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