1 lb Icelandic Lamb/Sheep Sausage (Green Heart Farm’s Montreal Blend)
2 Cups mixed dry beans (Kidney, Black, Pinto, and Garbanzo – 1/2 cup dried each)
1 Pint Fresh Salsa (I make my own)
1 Can tomatoes (diced or whole)
1 Cup Veggie Juice – tomato based – (optional, or if more liquid is needed)
1 Teaspoon (rounded) Baking Cocoa (you can use other non-sweetened chocolate)
A dash or two of Cinnamon
For more kick, add chili powder or crushed red chilis
I made this in my pressure cooker because I never got around to soaking my beans. To make this recipe the traditional way, just soak the beans the night before or early the morning you want to make the chili. Drain and rinse, then cook until tender. Time will depend on your method. Mine were done in about 30 minutes from dry to tender in my pressure cooker on high. The cooking time after soaking for this amount of beans is about 45-60 minutes (especially if using the garbanzo beans in your mix). Of course, you can take the really fast route and use canned beans; and there’s no shame in that!
A note about spices and seasonings for this particular recipe. Our Montreal Sheep Sausage is an enthusiastic three peppercorn blend from Teeny Tiny Organic Spice Company (formerly a local Vermont company now relocated to Virginia). My homemade fresh salsa has abundant flavor with garlic, onions, jalapenos, seasonings, cilantro, etc. So, for this specific recipe, I don’t add any other seasonings except the chocolate and the cinnamon. If I were making it with plain ground lamb (or beef or pork) minus the salsa, there would be a lot more additional seasonings.
Directions for my method:
Add the dry beans to pressure cooker, cover with ~2 inches of water and cook for 30 minutes on high. Let steam release naturally when time is up.
While the beans are cooking, brown the lamb sausage. Add the chocolate and cinnamon and cook for a few minutes longer. Note: Our lamb sausage is quite lean so there is no excess fat/grease to drain from the pan.
Once steam is released, drain liquid from the beans (I don’t rinse my beans, but you can if preferred).
Add the seasoned lamb sausage, the salsa, the tomatoes, and the veggie juice if using. Mix well. Cook over medium high heat until begins to bubble. Then lower temp and let simmer for 5 or 10 minutes to blend all the flavors.
BEST Chili ever!
Let’s give credit where credit is due! I got the idea for chocolate chili from this recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/68757/brys-chocolate-lamb-chili/ . I have not made this exact recipe, but given the ingredients and process, it sure looks yummy!