Solar Cooker Chili

Who hasn’t participated in a chili cook-off as either a chef or taste tester?  The desire to brew up the best bowl of chili in the world is an ongoing debate.  In fact, the mixture of meat, beans, peppers, and herbs was known to the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayan Indians long before Columbus and the conquistadores.

Fact: Chile peppers were used in Cervantes’s Spain and show up in great ancient cuisines of China, India, Indonesia, Italy, the Caribbean, France, and the Arab states.

Fact: Don Juan de Onate entered what is now New Mexico in 1598 and brought with him the green chili pepper. It has grown there for the nearly four hundred years since.

Fact: Canary Islanders, transplanted in San Antonio as early as 1723, used local peppers, wild onions, garlic, and other spices to concoct pungent meat dishes – improvising upon ones they had cooked for generations in their native land, where the chili pepper also grew.

This simple chili recipe is one we like to make in our Solar Flare Parabolic Solar Cooker.  Beware, the Solar Flare intensifies the flavor so the chili tastes wonderful but can have a bit of kick to it.  If you desire a milder chili, please use less chili powder.

Serves 4
1/2 pound ground beef
1 can (15 ounces each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 small onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2-1/2 teaspoons chili powder (use less for a milder chili)
1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper

Crumble ground beef into a cooking vessel and cook until brown and no longer pink, about 1 hour. In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Once beef is cooked through add to remaining ingredients and divide. Place half of the mixture in the cooking vessel. Cook for about 1-1/2-2 hours. Remove from vessel and cooking remaining.

Tip: It is recommended to check the cooking vessel about 45 minutes or 1 hour into the cooking process.  If there is condensation in the bag check the food.  Let cooking vessel rest 2-3 minutes before opening, then open jar and stir contents to check if done.  If more time is needed, cook for an additional 10 -20 minutes then check again.