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I am working mom who loves to cook and bake. I hope to keep track of recipes and share some of my better ones. In the process, hopefully my photography and cooking will get better and better!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Black Bean and Beef Chili

I have a favorite chili recipe for "red" chili.  However, my husband has always commented that it's "sweet."  It's not, in my opinion, but everyone's entitiled.

Anyhoo, this chili is not sweet at all.  It's not spicy, either.  (warning: I have a high spice tolerance.)  It's savory and thick, and not overtly tomato-rich.   We have a new family favorite!  Expect a lot of winter recipes from me- it's getting cold!

Black Bean and Beef Chili
adapted from smells like home

3 cans (14 – 15 oz each) black beans
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 diced chipotle chili pepper (canned in adobo sauce) or a pinch of ground chipotle chile powder
1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb very lean ground beef (less than 10% fat)
1 medium red onion, very finely diced
1 tbsp regular chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp ancho chile powder
Pinch ground chipotle chile powder
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups beef stock or 1 (15 oz) can beef broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Drain 2 cans black beans into colander and rinse well. Let beans drain while you use a food processor to puree the third can of undrained beans, diced tomatoes and liquid, and the diced chipotle chile pepper (or chipotle powder). If undrained beans skeeve you out, you could add 1/3 cup water instead.  I got over it and used the liquid.

Process the beans and tomatoes about 1 minute, until they are smooth.

In bottom of heavy soup pot or large Dutch oven, heat 1 – 2 tsp olive oil and brown beef, using the back of the turner to break it into small pieces. Remove beef to bowl, then add a bit more olive oil and the onions. Lower heat a little and cook onions until they are softened but not starting to brown. Add all the chile powders and cumin and saute about 30 seconds.

Add beef stock, browned ground beef, pureed bean mixture, drained beans, and tomato paste and simmer over low heat, uncovered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Stir the chili occasionally to prevent any sticking on the bottom of the pot.  After 45 minutes, check the seasonings and add more chile powder, salt, and/or pepper as needed.

Just before serving chili, stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice and cook about 5 minutes.  Serve chili hot with toppings of your choice.

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