Beef and Black Bean Chili

Beef and Black Bean Chili

Ingredients

4 slices bacon, chopped
1.5 pounds lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon Ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1/2 tablespoon New Mexican chile powder
1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 quart stock or water
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Suggested for serving: shredded cheese, scallions, avocado, corn chips, hot sauce

Method

Place bacon in a large soup pot. Cook over medium low heat until evenly brown and crispy. Remove bacon to paper towels and drain off excess fat from the pot, leaving just enough to coat the bottom.

Add beef to the pot over medium high heat and saute until well browned and cooked through, breaking the meat into chunks as it cooks. Drain, leaving a small amount of fat in the bottom of the pot. Set meat aside.

Stir in the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper and garlic. Saute until vegetables are moderately soft, about 5 minutes, then add cumin, Ancho chile powder, Mexican oregano, New Mexican chili powder, and salt and stir to combine. Return beef to pot along with petite diced tomatoes and 3 cups stock or water

Bring to boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, bacon and 1 cup stock or water and continue simmering for another 10 minutes.

Add cilantro. Serve with desired toppings.

NOTES

I think black beans and beef are a match made in heaven, and this recipe showcases that pairing beautifully. So savory and delicious, with just the right amount of heat.

Originally, I had intended to post a steak and black bean stew recipe here, but after making it with steak last week and ground beef this week, it was obvious this more chili-like version was the winner. 10/10 will make again. And soon.

Chipotle Chicken Chili

Chipotle Chicken Chili
(heavily altered, but inspired by this post from Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients

1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (see NOTES)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (or to taste)
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 12-ounce bottle beer (I used regular Modelo)
1 cup water
1 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
2 14.5-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced (about half a “bunch”)

For serving: sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, scallions, limes, corn chips, etc.

Method

Heat large pot over medium high heat, then add the chicken, cumin, oregano and salt. Saute for about 7 or 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through. Add the onion and garlic and stir. Cook for a few minutes more, until onion is soft. Add the beer and cook for 2 minutes to slightly reduce. Add the water, tomatoes, chipotles, beans and ancho chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a hard simmer. Let cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine, then remove from heat. Serve with desired accompaniments.

NOTES

Salty, sweet, smoky, spicy; this was instant love. Intense flavor with so few ingredients and chock full of protein to boot? Our perfect kind of meal.

As always, if you start with chicken breast, you will need a teaspoon or two of oil to get things going. Also, mine is soupier than a traditional chili, I realize, so if you want to make it thicker, you can blend some masa harina with water or more beer (1:1 ratio) or add a third can of beans. Ree did both in the post that inspired this dish. Up to you, but Steve and I loved it so tremendously as is, I think I will leave it for now.

Chili Cornbread Skillet

Chili Cornbread Skillet
with thanks to my dear Amy at Very Culinary

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef (or venison or turkey)
1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
1 bell pepper, any color, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano (I use Mexican)
1/2 tablespoon chile powder (I use New Mexican)
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 (10-ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup medium salsa
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 package (8.5 ounce) Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat Add the beef, onion, bell pepper, garlic, spices and salt to the pan. Cook, breaking up the chunks of beef with a wooden spoon, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Removed from heat. Add the soup, salsa, and ketchup and stir until thoroughly combined. Gently stir in the beans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the corn muffin mix, egg, and milk. Let sit for 2 minutes. Spoon the corn muffin mix over the chili.

Bake, uncovered, for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown.

NOTES

I really have no words for how happy this recipe made me. For one, it tastes FREAKING AMAZING. Deliciously sweet cornbread over spicy beef and vegetables. OOF. It’s also incredibly simple AND totally adjustable – vegetables/no vegetables, seasonings/no seasonings, beans/no beans – anything you want to do with it up through the soup/salsa/ketchup addition is totally at your discretion.

I will be making this one for the rest of our lives. Guaranteed.

Spicy Beef Chili

Spicy Beef Chili

Ingredients

5 thick slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced*
2 to 3 serrano peppers, seeded and finely diced*
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon New Mexican chile powder
1 tablespoon Ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans
4 cups water or stock, or as needed for desired consistency

(*for goodness sake, please wear gloves! I never seem to learn my lesson…)

Method

Place bacon in a large soup pot. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown and crispy. Remove bacon to paper towels and drain off excess fat from the pot, leaving just enough to coat the bottom.

Add beef to the pot over medium high heat and saute until browned and cooked through, breaking it into chunks with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain off all but a small layer of fat and set meat aside.

Stir in the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, garlic, cumin, New Mexican chile powder, Ancho chile powder and Mexican oregano. Saute for about 6 or 7 minutes or until vegetables are moderately soft, then add drained beef, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and 3 cups water or stock.

Bring to boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, bacon and 1 cup water or stock, stir, and continue simmering for another 30 minutes.

Serve with cornbread, corn chips, sour cream, cheese, scallions, etc.

NOTES

This was my attempt at a simple, weeknight chili and it was a total success. It was smoky, warming without being killer spicy, and held a perfect balance of beans and beef and peppers. We loved it.

I only wish I had remembered to slice up scallions to garnish; I will definitely do that for our lunch portions.