Chili With Lamb And Black Beans

1 3/4 C    Black beans, sorted and rinsed
2  Qt      Water, or more as needed
2  lb.     Lamb bones
4          Thyme sprigs    |
4          parsley sprigs  |  bouquet garni
1          Bay leaf        |
3          Garlic clove, crushed
6  T.      Olive oil
2          large yellow onions, chopped
1 1/2 lb   Lamb shoulder, ground
2  T.      chili powder
2  T.      fresh minced ginger
2  T.      fresh Thyme, minced  OR
2 tsp      Dried Thyme, crumbled
1  T.      red hot chilie, seeded and deveined (Jalapeno)
1 1/4 tsp  Dried Marjoram, crumbled
3/4 tsp    fresh ground white pepper
3/4 tsp    fresh ground black pepper
3/4 tsp    cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp    allspice
2  lb      Italian plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 C.   light Zinfandel wine
           salt as needed

FOR BEANS:  Soak beans overnight in 2 qt. water.  In a large
saucepan, bring beans to a boil.  Add lamb bones and bouquet garni
and 1 crushed garlic clove.  Reduce heat and simmer till beans are
tender but not mushy.  Skim occasionally and add more water if
necessary to keep beans submerged.  2 hrs.

FOR CHILI:  Heat 3 T. oil in large heavy saucepan over moderate heat.
Add onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add 2 cloves
garlic, minced, and stir about 3 minutes.  Transfer onion and garlic
mixture to a plate, using a slotted spoon.  Add remaining oil to pan.
Increase heat to med.  high.  Add lamb and cook until no longer pink,
breaking up with spoon, about 6 min.  Return onion mixture to pan;
add chili powder, ginger, thyme, red chili, marjoram, peppers and
allspice.  Stir 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes ( and half of their liquid,
if canned).  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for another
5 minutes.  Add 3/4 Cup of Zinfandel.  Simmer, skimming occasionally,
for 30 minutes.

Drain beans and reserve the cooking liquid.  Discard the bones and
garni. Add beans and remaining Zinfandel to chili mixture.  Salt and
season as necessary.  Simmer 30 minutes, adding bean cooking liquid
as needed to keep chili moist (or soupy, as you like it).  This chili
is best made ahead and allowed to season in the refrigerator for 24
hours.  Reheat before serving.

Serves 8.

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