Tom's Chili A la Franey

This recipe is my adaptation of a recipe that Pierre Franey published in 1989 in his classic cookbook Cuisine Rapide. It's been updated to include products that are now easily available at virtually all grocery stores - like ground ancho chili pepper and fresh poblano peppers. I also use fresh oregano and a number of other subtle improvements.

I know that the list of ingredients below is long, but the recipe isn't complicated in any way. I usually chop the vegetables while the meats cook and drain. Other than the chopping it's a very easy recipe.

Tom's Chili A La Franey
Serves 6-8

1 pound ground beef, 80% lean
1 pound ground pork
3 large ribs of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large or 2 small poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
5 teaspoons Ancho chili powder
5 teaspoons New Mexico chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large sprigs fresh oregano
   -- or -- 1 tablespoon dried
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 28 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, with sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1.5 cups homemade chicken or beef stock
1 pound of dried black beans, soaked overnight, simmered 45 minutes
   -- or 1 pound canned black beans, drained and rinsed

Serve with:
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheese
- Small pasta shapes
- Lime wedges
  1. In a large Dutch Oven or stock pot, drizzle a small amount of olive oil and add ground meats. Season lightly with Kosher salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until meat loses pink color. 
  2. Take pot off heat, place on a heat resistant surface, then place the handle of a wooden spoon under on side of the pot. Push all the meat to the higher side of the pot and let any greases collect in the low spot for about 3-4 minutes. Use a large spoon or ladle to remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil. 
  3. Return pot to medium high heat and add all vegetables, fresh peppers, dried chilies, oregano and bay leaves. Add 2 teaspoons salt and a generous grinding of fresh ground pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until vegetables soften a little. 
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and stock, and bring to a boil. Add beans and simmer for 10 minutes, then serve. 

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