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Author Notes: This Recipe is inspired by the cultural flavors I grew up with. Lamb was served at our table at least once a week, and chickpeas were served as hummus or with rice. I had ground lamb in the freezer, and took the Middle Eastern flavors I grew up with to make this delicious chili! - Jessen
- 1 1/2 pounds Ground Lamb
- 2 Red Bell Peppers, Diced
- 1 Carrot, Diced
- 1 Onion, Diced
- 6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 2 Cans Chickpeas, Drained and Rinsed
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Mint, Chopped
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2-4 tablespoons Harissa (Middle Eastern Hot Pepper Paste) Add More if Desired for a Spicier Chili
- 1 tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Oregano, Crushed Between Fingers
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon Fennel Seeds, Crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Peppercorns, Ground (European Peppercorns Preferred)
- Salt to Taste
- 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (San Marzano Recommended)
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 1/2 cups Low Sodium Beef Stock
- 1/4 cup Low Sodium Beef Stock, Mixed with 2 Teaspoons of Cornstarch to Thicken at End of Cook Time, if Needed
- 1/4 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese, for Garnish
- 3 Diced Scallion, for Garnish
- 1/4 cup Parsley or Cilantro, for Garnish
- 1/4 cup Plain Yogurt or Sour Cream, for Garnish
- 4 pieces Lime Wedges, for Garnish
- Pita Wedges or Pita Chips, for Serving
- Preheat your Dutch oven over medium/high heat. Remove ground lamb from packaging and pat dry with paper towel to remove excess moisture. This will ensure caramelization of your meat. When the dutch oven is hot, add 2 Tablespoons of Olive oil and add meat in whole. Leave the meat alone until you see the edges browning, flip the meat over and use a potato masher to break up the meat. While the meat continues to cook, Chop your peppers, carrot, onion and peel your garlic.
- When the meat is nice and caramelized, add in your bay leaves, Chopped Red bell Peppers, Carrot and Onion. When the vegetables are tender, mince in your garlic (a microplane works well, otherwise, mince with a knife). Stir around the garlic and meat mixture until garlic is fragerant, then add in tomato paste and harissa, continuely stirring until you can smell the tomato paste.
- Add in the worcestershire sauce, mint and dried spices, salting to Taste as you go along. Stir mixture and spices to combine, then add the Diced tomatoes and chickpeas. Measure out 3 1/2 cups of beef stock, add in to chili mixture and bring up to a boil. When it's at a rolling boil, knock the heat back to simmer (Medium/Low), pop a tight fitting lid on and cook for 1 hour for flavors to meld together.
- This next step is optional and is only added to thicken the chili. if you feel the chili is the perfect consistancy, this step can be skipped. After an hour, add in your slurry mixture (1/4 cup of beef stock to 2 Teaspoons of Cornstarch) and stir in your chili. Keep stirring the chili until it reaches your desired thickness.
- Optional Garnishes: Crumbled Feta, Diced Scallion, Dollop of Yogurt/Sour Cream, Lime Wedges, Pita Wdeges/Pita Chips and Parsley or Cilantro. Bowl up and Enjoy!!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chili
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