Chili, with a Spanish Flair
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 8 servings
Saffron, smoked paprika, and thyme give this chili a unique twist.
  • 1 lb dried pinto beans, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb button mushrooms, halved or quartered, depending on their size
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1½ lbs lean ground beef (I used 95% lean)
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes in thick puree
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
Garnish Ideas:
  • Plain yogurt
  • Good quality olives, pitted and sliced
  • Minced fresh parsley
  • Diced onion or scallion
  1. Put the beans in a large bowl and fill with cold water; soak overnight, then drain in the morning. Add the beans to a lidded 5-quart pot and cover with cold water by 2 to 3 inches. Cover the pot, bring to a boil over high heat, and then turn the heat down and boil gently until tender, about 60 to 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once tender, drain the beans and then add them back to the 5-quart pot.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mushrooms to the pot with the beans. Add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet the mushrooms were cooked in; cook over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the onion/bell pepper mixture to the pot with the beans and mushrooms.
  3. In the same skillet that the veggies were cooked in, brown the beef over high heat, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, paprika, chili powder, oregano, salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, black pepper, and bay leaves, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the wine and cook until the liquid is evaporated off, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Transfer the meat mixture to the pot with the beans and veggies; dissolve the saffron in 2 tablespoons hot water and add it to the pot along with the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and beef stock. Cover the pot, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parsley, and then taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired; add a garnish on top if desired, and serve.
Recipe by An Edible Mosaicâ„¢ at