Andouille Sausage Chili with White Beans



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1 pound dried navy beans or small white beans, soaked in water to cover for at least 6 hours or overnight
2 tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil
1 pound lean (85%) ground beef
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 quarts (or more) low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste
1 cup finely chopped green onions (about 6)


  1. Drain the beans, rinse and drain again.

  2. To make the chili outdoors, prepare a charcoal or gas grill with medium-high heat. Place a heavy Dutch oven or large pot over the heat. Add the bacon fat or olive oil and Andouille sausage. Fry until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add ground beef, pinch of salt and pepper and fry until no longer pink, breaking up the meat with a fork or slotted spoon, about 5 minutes.. Stir in the onions, carrots, celery and bell pepper and fry until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Fry until all the meat and vegetables are well coated with the spices, about 2 minutes longer. Add the drained beans and 1½ quarts broth.

  3. Set up the grill for indirect cooking by spreading the coals to the sides, or turning off the center gas jet on a gas grill. Position the pot so there is no heat directly under the pot. Cover the pot and cover the barbecue, adjust the heat so the chili simmers. Cook until the beans are soft, about 1 hour, adding more broth or water to keep the ingredients just submerged, if necessary. If the broth needs more body, simmer uncovered for a few minutes, watching carefully.

  4. Stir the vinegar into the chili. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more vinegar, salt and pepper if desired. Stir in the green onions and serve.