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Four-Bean Chili



  • 1/2 pound dried black beans, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/2 pound dried garbanzo beans, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/2 pound dried white navy beans, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/2 pound dried red beans, soaked in water overnight
  • 12 ounces bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup garlic, minced
  • 3 large yellow onions, minced
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and minced
  • 6 jalapeños, minced (Note: de-seed 3 of the chilies)
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, whole seeds
  • 3 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons ground paprika
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 cans (28 oz. each) tomatoes, whole in puree
  • 2 bottles (12 oz. each) dark beer (like Negro Modelo)
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 pounds spicy pork sausage

Chef notes



Rinse and drain soaked beans. In a large stock pot, place the beans and cover with fresh water. Over medium high heat, bring the beans to a boil, skimming any foam from the top. Simmer until fork-tender, about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Meanwhile, in a large stock pot or Dutch oven, fry bacon until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon to drain on paper towels.

Sauté the garlic, onions, and scallions in the residual bacon fat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add jalapenos and cook for 5 minutes more.

While the jalapenos cook: in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast all seasonings, swirling and agitating the pan so as to not burn the spices, about 2 to 3 minutes. When the seasonings are fragrant, add to the cooking onion-jalapeno mixture.

Add the tomatoes and beer to the onion-jalapeno mixture. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the beef and sausage. Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon or silicone spatula and cook until brown throughout. After draining the fat, add the meat to the vegetable mixture.

By now, the beans should be cooked and the vegetable-meat mixture should be simmering. Drain the beans and add to the chili. Stir in the reserved bacon, and season to taste. Over low heat, simmer the chili for up to 1 more hour.