Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Walt Disney's Chili and Beans

I've been in need of a vacation for, like, ever. Seriously. My job is pretty demanding and high stress, so the idea that a family vacation was coming up was sometimes the only thing holding me together.
After saving for two years, we finally took our family to Disneyland. We went the week after Thanksgiving, which in my opinion is the perfect time to go. Weather was decent, lines were short (longest wait was 20 minutes), and the park was all dressed up for Christmas. Every night we got to watch Sleeping Beauty's Castle light up for the night and then it would "snow" on Main Street. By far my best memory of the trip. The kids were speechless.
While most people, including my children and husband, bought Disneyland trinkets, Mickey Mouse ears, and other paraphernalia, I had my eyes on a Disney Parks cookbook. There were 4 to choose from and I settled for Chef Mickey, which for some reason is priced unbelievable high online. I'm thinking because it's really only available at the park? The cookbook offers recipes from restaurants at Disneyland and DisneyWorld, plus some older recipes from the mysterious "vault" that Disney always eludes to.
Being a bit enamoured by the experience, I was more than thrilled to see two of Walt Disney's personal recipes listed in the book. One for Chili and Beans and one for Browned Roast Beef Hash. I went with the chili first. I had almost all the ingredients and just had to find out how Mr. Disney himself liked his chili!

Chili and Beans
Walt Disney's personal recipe

2 lbs dried pinto beans
2 medium onions, sliced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup chopped celery
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 (28-oz) can chopped tomatoes, undrained
Salt and pepper, to taste

Wash and sort beans and soak overnight in cold water.

Drain beans and place in a 2-quart saucepan. Add fresh water to cover by 2 inches. Add sliced onions and simmer, covered, for 2 hours, until tender.

Heat oil in a large pan and saute garlic. Add beef and celery and cook until lightly browned. Add chili powder, paprika, and thyme. Mix in chopped tomatoes. Cover and simmer for one hour.

When beans are tender, combine with the meat, stirring gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Girls in Aprons note: I added about 3/4 -1 cup of drained water from the pinto beans into the beans and meat mixture to give it a little bit of a sauce to go with the dish.

Cook's note (aka Walt's personal notes!!!) - For a spicier chili, add 1/8 tsp each of coriander, turmeric, chili seeds, fellen, cloves, cinnamon, and ground ginger. You can also add dried hot pepper to taste.

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