LAMB CHILI // elspeth

It's chilly outside. There's chili in here. Do these statements cancel each other out? I hope so.

The chili in here is lamb chili, a riff on this lamb-and-white bean chili from the New York Times. I finally caved and paid my $3.95 a week just so I could print it out, and so far I am feeling good about that decision. I am Supporting Good Journalism and Eating Good Food. I came to lamb chili the same way Melissa Clark did: I unearthed a pound of frozen ground lamb in the freezer. I couldn't find any ground beef. I already had the beans cooked and I wanted to make chili.

So...lamb chili it is! And it's good. Really good. In fact, I think I like it better than beef chili. I made it with lamb stock, too, and peppers and a mix of three kinds of beans and plenty of cilantro and yogurt as a topping. I added the usual spices. I forgot to take a picture. Sally and I just finished it for lunch.

So without further ado, here's the recipe. I hope you're staying warm tonight.


I love the earthy taste of lamb. It pairs especially well with beans for a rich, wintery dish that's easy to prepare and can be made for a party several days in advance. The leftovers also freeze well. This recipe serves 4-6.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
sea salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 bell or poblano peppers seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup crushed tomatoes
3 and 1/2 cups cooked beans (I used a mix of kidney, cannellini, and black)
4 cups lamb stock, beef stock, or water
whole milk plain yogurt, for serving
lime wedges, for serving
cilantro, for serving

Warm up 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy pot. Add the lamb and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining oil, the onion, and the peppers to the pot. Cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another couple of minutes. Stir in the chili powder, coriander, cumin, crushed tomatoes and beans. Return the lamb to the pot along with the lamb stock and bring everything to a simmer.  Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chili thickens to your taste. Taste and add salt as needed.

Serve hot with dollops of yogurt, a squeeze of lime, and chopped fresh cilantro. 


Teresa Parker said...

Oh, that chili!

Bruce Larsen said...


I made this last night, along with some cheese bread and a salad, and it was outrageous! Thank you for the recipe. Lamb chili! Who knew??

Elspeth said...


so glad you enjoyed it! I felt the same way when I discovered it. Snow here again today...time for another batch!

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