I’ve been enjoying making various soups this winter out of the Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook put out by America’s Test Kitchen. The other day I came across a recipe for smoky sausage and bean chili and immediately thought of several changes we could make to the recipe. It called for kielbasa but I used some of our mushroom brats. (So if you don’t live in the Twin Cities and can’t get mushroom brats from us, I guess you can settle for some kielbasa). The recipe also called for liquid smoke. Instead, I used a bunch of our smoked shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms were a great addition to the chili and they provided a wonderful smoky flavor and smell. (So I guess if you don’t live in the Twin Cities and can’t get smoked mushrooms from us…you’ll have to settle for liquid smoke!)
Smoky Mushroom Chili
2 onions, minced 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced 3 tablespoons chili powder 1/4 cup vegetable oil 5 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon dried oregano 3 cups chicken broth 1/2 pound dried navy beans (1 1/4 cups), picked over and rinsed 1 pound mushroom brats, sliced 1/2 inch thick 8 ounces andouille sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick 12 ounces (3 packages) of smoked shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and minced 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce 2 bay leaves salt and pepper
1. In a large saute pan heat vegetable oil on medium-high, then saute onions and bell peppers for 10-20 minutes until the onions are starting to brown and bell peppers are softened. Add chili powder, garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook for another few minutes, then transfer to slow cooker. (You’ll need at least a 4-quart slow cooker/crock pot for this.)
2. Stir broth, beans, mushroom brats, andouille, smoked mushrooms, soy sauce, sugar, chipotles, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
3. Discard bay leaves. Transfer 1 cup cooked beans to bowl and mash smooth with potato masher. Stir mashed beans into chili and let sit until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, avocado, scallions, or whatever else you like on your chili!