Highlands Chili with Lamb and Black Beans

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For  Beans:
1 3/4 cups black beans, sorted and rinsed
2 quarts (or more) water
2 pounds lamb bones
Bouquet garni: 4 fresh thyme sprigs, 4 fresh parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf
1 medium garlic clove, crushed
For Lamb Chili:
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb shoulder
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons freshly minced ginger
2 tablespoons freshly minced thyme
1 tablespoon minced hot red chili, seeded and deveined
2-3 chipotle chiles
1 1/4 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 tablespoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon each freshly ground white, black and cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground allspice
Two 16 ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, drained (liquid reserved) and coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups light Zinfandel
For  Saffron Rice:
4 cups cold water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
2 cups long grain rice
1 avocado cut into slices
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 green onions, minced (green part only)




Soak beans in 2 quarts water in heavy large saucepan overnight. Drain. Cover with fresh water.

Bring beans to boil. Add lamb bones, bouquet garni and garlic. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender but not mushy, skimming occasionally and adding more water if necessary to keep beans submerged, about 1 hour.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and stir 3 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to plate, using slotted spoon. Discard oil. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Add lamb and cook until no longer pink, breaking up with spoon, about 6 minutes. Return onion mixture to pan, add chili powder, ginger thyme, red chili, chipotle, marjoram, cumin white, black, and cayenne pepper and allspice. Stir 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and half of reserved liquid. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup Zinfandel and simmer 30 minutes, skimming and stirring occasionally.

Drain beans, reserving liquid. Add beans, remaining 1/2 cup Zinfandel and salt to chili. Adjust seasoning. Simmer 30 minutes, skimming and stirring occasionally and adding enough bean cooking liquid and reserved tomato liquid to keep moist. Bring water, cumin, coriander, and saffron to boil in medium saucepan. Mix in rice. Return to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 18-20 minutes.

Reheat chili over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Discard bones and bouquet garni. Adjust seasoning. Spoon chili and rice into bowls. Garnish with avocado, sour cream and green onion.


Active Time:  30 Minutes
Total Time:  2 Hours 25 Minutes
Yield:  8 Servings

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