Grilled Chinese Eggplant over Ground Beef Chili

Grilled Chinese Eggplant over Ground Beef Chili (Chili serves 8-10)

My friends at Cherith Farms loaded me up with Chinese eggplant on a recent visit. Eggplant can be bland and I wasn’t sure what to do with the bounty I had until trying grilled eggplant with ground beef chili. The combination of spicy chili and mild eggplant was so good that I happily ate it every day and sometimes twice a day until it was all gone.

Prep and cook time: 50-60 minutes

Ingredient list:

3 pounds of ground beef
3 sweet yellow onions – chopped
3-4 Chinese eggplants
Coconut oil
1 habanero pepper – seeded and minced OR chili powder – 1 tablespoon
Unsweetened cocoa – 2 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 30 minutes. Turn off heat, allow pressure to come down naturally, remove top. Meanwhile,  heat non stick grill pan over medium heat. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and cut into 2 or 3 inch lengths. The goal is manageable pieces of eggplant that are 1/2 to 1/3 of an inch thick. Arrange eggplant on hot grill pan. Sprinkle salt and garlic powder on eggplant and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn eggplant, season the backside, and let cook another 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef chili to a plate, add eggplant, and enjoy!

Notes: Green habaneros are not ripe and not as hot as vine-ripened yellow, orange, or red habaneros, but they are still hot. 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 meat 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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