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Silence of the Lambs Chili with Lady of Avalon

Silence of the Lambs Chili with Lady of Avalon

From the Ninkasi staff chili cook-off vaults comes this award-winning recipe from our own cellar man, Dan. This chili is sure to be a crowd-pleaser as it was deemed the winner of our 2012 chili cook-off!


  • 1 tbsp. jalapeño olive oil
  • 2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 3 lbs. lamb shoulder, boned and cubed
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup Lady of Avalon (or more depending on preferred consistency)
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1½ tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ lb. chorizo or other spicy cured sausage, finely chopped (use a food processor)
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large green red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • One can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chiles (with liquid)
  • 1-2 cups firmly-cooked pinto, kidney, or black beans, or 1 can (15 ounces) drained and rinsed.
  • 1 can corn (or frozen corn)
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 4-6 cloves garlic (or more depending on preference), pressed
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 dried chipotle peppers
  • Add more or less of above based on taste preferences.

  • Suggested Garnishes & Variations:
  • Sour cream and chopped cilantro
  • Grated cheddar cheese and shredded lettuce
  • Chopped red onion
  • Tortilla chips or Fritos
  • Poured over rice
  • More beer!

Preparation Instructions

Heat the oil in a 4-quart or larger cooker. Stir in the cumin seeds and toast for 20 seconds. Add the lamb in small batches, stirring vigorously after you add each batch. Continue cooking over high heat until the meat is brown.

Stir in the onions, celery, carrots, chipotle peppers and Lady of Avalon. Take care to scrape any browned bits sticking to bottom of cooker. Blend in 3 tbsp. of the chili and cocoa powders. Add the chorizo and bell peppers. Pour the tomatoes on top. Do not stir after adding tomatoes.
Lock the lid in place. Over high heat bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat. Natural-release the pressure. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow steam to escape.

Stir in the garlic, oregano, jalapeño, corn, beans and salt and pepper to taste, plus the additional chili powder if needed. Simmer the chili uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are integrated, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve in bowls or lift mixture with a slotted spoon and set into taco shells. Accompany with the garnishes of your choice.