Ground Beef Chili with Rosa Bianca Eggplant

Ground Beef Chili with Rosa Bianca Eggplant (Serves 8-10)

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs connect people to local farms. I am late coming to the party, and just got my first share from  Local Food Stop, a CSA with a drop off site in my neighborhood. The box included Rosa Bianca Eggplant, a mild and creamy heirloom variety that is white and violet streaked, and a batch of green Habanero Chili Peppers. I added one Habanero to my chili and then decided to cut the Rosa Biancas into cubes and add them to balance the heat of the Habanero. I also added extra cocoa powder to moderate the effect of the Habanero and it worked. This chili had a nice undertone of heat, with rich taste and nice texture. I look forward to making this again!

Prep and cook time: 50-60 minutes

Ingredient list:

3 pounds of ground beef
3 sweet yellow onions – chopped
2 Rosa Bianca eggplant – cubed
1 habanero pepper – seeded and minced
Coconut oil
Unsweetened cocoa – 4 tablespoons
Ground cumin – 1 tablespoon
Ground coriander – 1 tablespoon
Garlic powder – 1 tablespoon
Salt – 1 tablespoon

Directions:

Add one or two tablespoons of coconut oil to pressure cooker over medium heat. Add chopped onion to pot and let cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add ground beef to pot and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula as the meat browns. Add minced habanero. Add spices and stir to mix. Add one or two cups of water to the pot, maybe three. Stir everything together well. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 25 minutes. Turn off heat, release pressure quickly, remove top. Add cubed eggplant. Stir everything together well. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, allow pressure to come down naturally, remove top. Transfer to bowls and eat.

Notes: Eggplant is tender and cooks fast. Cooking it more than 5 minutes in the pressure cooker will reduce eggplant to juice.

Green habaneros are not ripe and not as hot as vine-ripened yellow, orange, or red habaneros, but they are still hot. I ate one tiny sliver raw and considered adding just half of one pepper to my chili. I added it all because I didn’t know what to do with half a habanero and am glad I did. One habanero worked nicely with the other ingredients and two might have worked well too.

I love my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from Amazon.com (check it out in my “Store.”) After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three!

Cows raised on grass are healthier than cows raised on corn and soybeans. The resulting meat is lower in fat and higher in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Grass fed beef is increasingly available directly from ranchers. I bought the ground beef in this story at the Alpharetta Farmers Market from Bobby and Jennifer deGraan of deGraan Farms in Calhoun, Georgia. I like knowing the people who raised my supper. I liked it so much that I bought a freezer full of roasts and ground beef so I always have something to cook.

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