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Heirloom Tomato Chili Con Carne

Heirloom tomatoes, onions and garlic
Heirloom tomatoes, onions and garlic

I only buy tomatoes in season, because I dislike the flavor when grown in hothouses or otherwise. So I tend to eat a lot of tomatoes this time of year and whenever possible, choose heirloom from my local farmer’s market.

I had never made Chili Con Carne from fresh tomatoes, so I thought, why not try it and I made a batch yesterday. I know many cooks remove the skin and seeds, but I didn’t bother and I doubt anyone would know the difference. Anyway, the dish turned out great! I made mine from pasture raised beef, but you can use other meats or omit and make it vegetarian. I made some brown rice and served it with tortilla chips because the crispy chips add a nice texture. I also added some raw baby tomatoes,  crème fraiche and grated cheddar cheese to finish it.

Uncooked heirloom tomatoes added to meat and onions
Uncooked heirloom tomatoes added to meat and onions

Heirloom Tomato Chili Con Carne

Serves 6

1 pound ground pasture raised beef, buffalo, turkey, or chicken

2 medium onions, chopped

1/2 head garlic, minced

2 pounds heirloom tomatoes roughly chopped or 1 large can whole peeled tomatoes plus a handful of baby tomatoes quartered for garnish

1 ½ cups dried beans or 2 cans pinto and/or white beans and liquid if no salt

1-4 tablespoons hot chili pepper (adjust according to how spicy you like it)

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon cumin

1 can corn or 2 ears corn, shucked (optional)

2 or more cups water

Grated cheddar cheese, crème fraiche or sour cream, optional

Brown rice and/or tortilla chips

  1. If you are using dried beans, soak overnight and cook until they are still pretty firm, set aside.
  2. Sauté meat on medium high until brown and crumbly and set aside, drain excess oil.
  3. Sauté onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil until soft on medium heat, approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Add spices and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. (Taste and add more spices if needed.)
  5. Add tomatoes and dried, partly beans if using and a couple of cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Simmer for an hour, adding water or canned unsalted bean juice as needed.
  6. If using canned beans, add and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with rice and/or tortilla chips.  Top with cheddar cheese, sour cream or crème fraiche.

Heirloom tomato chili con carne
Heirloom tomato chili con carne

 

 

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