Original Recipe HERE
I love a good chili, but I don't gravitate towards those that require lots of ground beef or lots of kidney beans. This recipe caught my eye because it involved neither, and the use of cranberries intrigued me. Sweet, tart chili? I was willing to take the chance on the unorthodox twist, since I've had chili with cinnamon and chocolate (aka, Cincinnati-style) and enjoyed it.
Luckily, this was a homerun instead of a bomb. While I should still seek out an awesome traditional chili recipe (it seems like one of those basic dishes I should have in my arsenal), this one will go into rotation in our house.
The recipe is flexible: type of beans, type and amount of spices, additional vegetables (maybe some bell pepper and baby carrots?), etc.
6 slices of thick bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 yellow or white onion, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1 can (14 oz) tomato puree
2 cups water
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, rinsed & drained [I substituted Great Northern beans]
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed & drained
1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
garnishes [sour cream, green onion, shredded cheese, etc.]
(1) In a large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Set aside to drain on paper towel; leave several tablespoons of grease in pot.
(2) Add onion to pot; cook over medium-high heat until soft, about 4 minutes.
(3) Add cranberries to pot; cook 2-3 minutes.
(4) Add tomato puree, water, beans, spices, and cooked bacon to the pot. Simmer on medium-low heat for at least 20 minutes.
(5) If desired, use an immersion blender (or regular blender) to lightly puree chili to reach desired thickness.
(6) Serve hot with garnishes.
Kid Participation: Add heaping helpings of cheese and sour cream; enjoy.