Ground Beef Chili with Wilted Kale and Dried Cranberries

Ground Beef Chili with Wilted Kale and Dried Cranberries (Chili serves 8-10, kale serves 1-2)

I’ve just gone through a chili phase and the result has been a bunch of “chili with” recipes. There has been chili with okra, chili with yellow squash, and now there is chili with wilted kale and dried cranberries.

Prep and cook time: 45-50 minutes

Ingredient list:

3 pounds of ground beef
3 sweet yellow onions
1 bunch of black or Lacinato kale
Dried cranberries
Apple cider vinegar
Coconut oil
Chili powder
Ground cumin
Unsweetened cocoa
Black pepper
Garlic powder


Chop onion into bite-sized pieces. Add one or two tablespoons of coconut oil to pressure cooker over medium heat. Add all but one handful of 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 thick dustings of each spice – chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, unsweetened cocoa, and salt. Ground beef absorbs spices eagerly, so coat the top of the meat with each one, with particular emphasis on the chili powder and the garlic and the cocoa and the salt and the cumin. 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 30 minutes. Turn off heat, allow pressure to come down naturally, remove top.

While chili is cooking, rinse kale well. Strip leaf from stems and discard stems. Add coconut oil to a wok over medium heat. Add a handful of onion to hot oil and let cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add kale to hot oil and stir around with a spatula. Add salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to taste. Add a generous handful of dried cranberries and a generous splash of apple-cider vinegar. Cover and let kale wilt down for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add seasonings or vinegar as needed.

When everything is done, transfer kale and chili to a bowl and eat!

Notes: I make just enough wilted kale for each meal, so I cook just enough for me if I am eating alone. I make enough for two if my wife is eating with me. I have never had any, so don’t know how wilted kale does as leftovers.

I love my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from (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.

Printer friendly version: Ground Beef Chili with Wilted Kale and Dried Cranberries


2 Responses to “Ground Beef Chili with Wilted Kale and Dried Cranberries”

  1. Love all your great recipes. I have been trying to find dried cranberries that are not sweetened. I haven’t done an Internet search yet, but have been checking at while shopping everywhere. Do you buy yours online? Just wondering. Thanks for your great posts.

    • Tom Denham says:

      Glad you like my work! I’ve been buying my dried cranberries infused with apple juice as a sweetener from Whole Foods. They don’t have it every time I shop, but often enough that I rarely have to do without. In place of dried cranberries, you can use golden raisins or regular raisins, although I prefer the taste of dried cranberries. I just bought dried sour cherries from a Persian grocery store and am looking forward to how well they might do in recipes.

Leave a Reply