Tuesday, February 17, 2009

White Bean and Sausage Chili

What Bean and Sausage Chili
White Bean and Sausage Chili
If you missed the Illick's Mill Winter Nook and Chili Cook-Off held at Bethlehem's Municipal Ice Rink, I'm really, really sorry. There were some awesome chilis there this year and although I wasn't in it to win (that honor rightfully went to The Tally Ho Tavern) I made a terrific chili anyhow and wanted to share the recipe here.

I have to share with you the fact that there were also three kick-butt bands there this year, too: Steve Brosky (still doin' his thing as great as ever after all these years), Eighteenth Hour (they started off the night and I didn't hear as much of them as I wanted as I was buried back in the chili-tasting room) and my favorite, the Paul Thiessen Band - man are those guys tight! Self-proclaimed 'Face-Melting Folk Music', they deliver just that and more. I missed my chance to pick up one of their cd's at the last Illick's Mill function so I laid in wait this time (and probably looked like that, too between trying to enjoy the band and watch the kids from the window as they ice skated) and got their 'Stop. Hear.' CD. Awesome and awesome - can't say more. All of this was broadcast LIVE by WMUH as well.

The whole event benefits the Illick's Mill Project, of which my daughter, Megan is a part.

On to chili - this isn't a very spicy one, it's more mellow and smoky, but so full of layered flavors that it's hard to stop at one bowl.

White Bean and Sausage Chili
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

2 slices bacon - diced
1 cup diced tavern ham
1 shallot - minced
1 white leek - sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic - minced
1 medium onion - diced
1 large green pepper - diced
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 pound bulk sausage
4 cups cooked white beans such as cannellini, northern or navy
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried and crushed oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sliced and fried green onion (a.k.a. scallions/spring onion) and leeks and sour cream for garnish

1. Heat a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp.
2. Add ham, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add shallots, leeks, garlic, onion and peppers. Stir well and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Crumble sausage well and cook until no longer pink - stirring often to break up.
5. Add stock and beans and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
6. Stir in oregano and cayenne and simmer for another 10 minutes.
7. Serve with sour cream and fried green onion and leeks.


Alice said...

Hi Anne! Love all your soups!

A couple of questions: what a "tavern" ham? And the beans, are they canned, or soaked but not cooked?


Anne said...

Ally - OOPS! This is what I get for working on two posts containing beans at the same time. I changed it to 'cooked' beans. I usually cook from dry - but when I'm in a time crunch I use canned.

Tavern ham is a smoked ham that's usually purchased sliced for sandwiches. Here's the brand I happened across for this:

cassie-b said...

This is my third attempt to post a comment:

Sounds really good. I'll give it at try soon.

I'll be back to you with a comment. I love bean based meals. And ham and sausage will appeal to Don.

Kayson Marbin said...

I'm not even close to a chili snob. This is soup though. I've made a very similar dish without ham, and included kale. It's not even "semantics". This dish has zero to do with chili. I would say beans perhaps , but that's debatable as well (not for me, I'm pro chili with beans.)

I'm not critiquing the recipe, I know it's very good. It's just not any form of chili.

Anne Coleman said...

Hi Kayson - you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I heartily disagree! In fact, there are many, many white chili recipes very close to this that have been cook off winners! Also, the most basic definition of chili is first that it's a soup ;) I learned that one in culinary school 23 years ago. At any rate, thanks so much for stopping by! (and your dog is adorable)