“Hurry Up and Wait” Chili

I needed to make chili for a contest. All my favorite recipes are packed in a box, somewhere. So, I looked up a recipe, which I’ve already lost the link to, to be sure I had the proportions right and winged it. I didn’t want to spend all night on it, so I parallel pipelined it. I thought of naming it “parallel pipeline chili”, but I thought no one would understand that. Here it is:

3 medium onions; one each white, yellow, and red
(I used only two because they were huge)
6 cloves of garlic – one per ingredient (beef, pork, chicken, beans, tomato, onion = 6)
6 slices of bacon; as thick a cut as you can find
3 lbs meat; one each beef, pork, chicken
1 lb beans; I used pinto – weight is wet/hydrated
1 jalapenos; 3 would be more symmetric, but I don’t like hot
1 (7oz) can Chipolte Peppers in Adobo sauce (thanks Internet recipe person!)
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
(3 cans crushed would be symmetric, but not what I made)

3 Tbls chili powder
1 Tbl cumin
1 Tbl oregano (I used two of marjoram, just to get rid of it)
1 Tbl paprika

Measure the beans (not knowing dry weight/wet weight ratio, I just guessed and ended up with extra) and start a pot of water boiling. Preheat oven to 350. Wait for the water to boil, dump in the beans, cover, and place in oven.

In three frying pans, start the bacon cooking – two strips per pan. Adjust temperature so that you can finish the next step before the bacon burns.

(Hurriedly – bacon cooks fast) chop the onions and garlic. Combine in a mixing bowl. Remove bacon to a paper towel. Add 1/3 of the onion/garlic combination to each frying pan. Adjust temperature so you can finish the next step before the onions caramelize.

(Hurriedly – before the onions overcook) chop the meat into symmetric cubes (size depends on thickness of the cut). Keep separated. Add each meat to a frying pan and brown. Adjust temperature of each pan so you can finish the next step before anything burns, but it all finishes at the same time.

(Hurriedly – before any of the meat burns) deseed and dice the jalapeno(s). Dice the bacon. Optionally, dice the chipoltes; I left them whole to be removed after sucking out their flavor.

Open the tomatoes and dump everything into a crock pot. Let sit, off heat, while you clean up the mess.

The beans take about two hours to hydrate. Depending on your speed (I was done in under an hour – the point of doing it in parallel), they may or may not be done, yet. If not, wait – and double-check; bean hydration is highly variable, in my experience.

When the beans are hydrated, spoon them (slotted spoon or not; your choice) into the crock pot. Wait until it cools. Refrigerate overnight (more waiting). Simmer in crock pot for an hour or three (more waiting) before serving (after removing the whole chipoltes, if they are in there). Garnish with cheese, sour cream, and/or chopped green onions.

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