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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saffron Chili

Dratnabbit, I made this chili the other night and forgot to take any pictures!  It *looks* like regular ol' chili, so you're really not missing much in the visual aid department, but what really sets it apart is the flavor and aroma that the saffron brings and we don't have smell-o-blog technology any way.

This is an adaptation of another Frugal Gourmet recipe.  I halve the recipe b/c I'm only feeding a small army, not a huge one, and do a lot of the steps differently to keep from making every single pot I own dirty. 

The recipe calls for 2 spendy ingredients...shallots and saffron.  They really are worth it here.  If you don't want to splurge on both, substitute red onion for the shallots, but you must, must, must have saffron for this recipe to be anything but plain ol' chili.  A small pinch goes a long way and really does shine through.  Other ideas for using saffron include: Saffron cornbread, Scalloped Potatoes and Saffron Griddlecakes. 

For prep-ahead/make-ahead instructions...to prep ahead, chop the shallots/onion and garlic and combine.  Stir saffron into broth.  Measure out spices.  That's about all you need to do.  You can ofc make this entirely ahead to reheat (in a crockpot, perhaps) or freeze.  I served this chili same-day and froze the leftovers for another meal of chili stroganoff (2 cups chili melted with 8 oz. cream cheese and served with bread and veggies for dipping). 

Saffron Chili
Makes 6-8 servings

4 cups beef broth
large pinch saffron
1 lb. ground round
1/2 lb. mild sausage
1-2 tbsp olive oil
8 oz. shallots, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder (or chile powder, if you like it hotter)
1 tsp cuminseed
1/2 tsp oregano
3 oz. tomato paste (about 6 tbsp)
1 4 oz. can diced chiles
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
salt to taste
To serve: diced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced olives, hot sauce (for chile-heads)

Stir saffron into beef broth and let stand. 

Brown beef and sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat, until browned and cook through.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. 

Add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil to meat drippings, if needed.  Saute shallots and garlic 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften.  Add spices and tomato paste, and saute over medium-high heat 3-4 minutes, until tomato paste is browning. 

Return meat to pot.  Add chiles and salt.  Stir beef broth/saffron mixture into pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour 20 minutes.  Add beans and heat another 10 minutes. Pin It

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