Persephone’s Cocina | Lamb Chili

This is as close to elegant as a bowl of chili can get – it’s more appropriate for date night than for game night.  The lamb mellows beautifully after some time on the stove, the texture is velvety and tender, and the flavor is at once comforting and surprising.  This recipe makes use of some bold and non-traditional spicing, and the payoff is extraordinary.  The black cardamom provides a smoky warmth, the fenugreek a little burnt maple.  Pair these with the traditional cumin, chili powder and coffee, and the result is wonderful.  Its stunning, brick-red color is worth making it alone.  It’s a refined chili with a faint, almost-Persian echo.  Serve it over tamales, with some homemade cornbread, or simply with some sour cream.  It’s easy, and it’s a star.

Chile de Cordero, Serves 2

2 strips bacon, chopped

1/2 pound ground lamb

1 very small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 heaping T chile paste

1 black cardamom pod

1/4 t ground fenugreek

1/4 t allspice

1/4 t cinnamon

1/2 t ground chile powder

1/4 t cumin

A shake of dried thyme and dried savory

10 drops Sriracha

1/4 c brewed strong coffee

Salt, pepper

Over medium heat in a medium-sized sauce pan, cook the bacon until just crisp.  Add the ground lamb and cook until browned, about five minutes.  Add the onion and soften for three to five minutes.  Add all the spices and the coffee.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add 1/2 cup of water and move to the smallest burner and put on the lowest heat.  Cook, over low heat for at least an hour, preferably two (you can basically ignore this baby until dinner time, just checking liquid levels a couple of times).  No need to cover it if you keep the heat very low.

Serve spooned over tamales or in a bowl with a bit of sour cream or avocado crema as a garnish.

Playlist included Percussion Gun by White Rabbits.


4 thoughts on “Persephone’s Cocina | Lamb Chili

  1. This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. Two questions for you; are you doing the cooking in a skillet or dutch oven? When moved to the smallest burner, as you cooking covered over lowest heat, or uncovered? Thanks a million for posting!

    1. Since this was just a small recipe, it really just fit in a medium sized sauce pan. And I cooked it so low that I left it uncovered. (Easier to sample along the way, too.) Thanks for the very good questions! I’ll update the post to reflect this info!

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