Friday, February 04, 2011

Beef and Three Bean Chili (Pinch my Salt blog)

2 tablespoons olive oil
one large yellow onion, chopped
one green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
two cloves of garlic, minced
one large jalapeno, minced (seeds and all)
one pound of ground beef (I used 85% lean)
3 tablespoons chili powder*
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder**
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup of your favorite beer (I used a pale ale)
one 14.5 oz. can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes***
one 14.5 oz. can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes****
one can of water (just fill an empty tomato can with water)
one small can of tomato paste
one can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
one can of black beans, drained and rinsed
one can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 cups of frozen corn (optional)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

1. In a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat, cook onion and pepper in olive oil until softened, about five minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook, stirring, for another minute, then add ground beef. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, just until meat is no longer pink. Drain the fat from the pan then return to heat.

2. Add the two chili powders and cumin, and cook the spices and the meat together, stirring, for half a minute or so. Add the beer, stir, and allow to cook while you open all the cans and drain and rinse the beans. Add all the tomatoes, one can of water (just fill an empty tomato can with water), tomato paste, and beans; stir well. Bring mixture up to a slow boil then turn the heat down to low and simmer, partially covered, for about an hour.

3. As the chili simmers, stir it occasionally, and taste to see if you need/want more chili powder or cumin (don’t add salt until it’s done cooking). Once chili has reached the thickness you like, stir in the frozen corn and cook for a few more minutes, then add salt to taste. Eat immediately or wait for it to cool then refrigerate overnight. The chili tastes even better the next day! It can also be frozen.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Notes: *Feel free to use more or less chili powder depending on your preference. I probably used more than 3 T, but some people prefer a lot less! **optional, or can substitute one tablespoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo. ***they don’t have to be fire-roasted, that’s just what I had on hand. ****You could substitute one large (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes for the two smaller cans of diced/crushed tomatoes. This chili did not seem spicy to me at all, but if you are making it for kids (or really wimpy adults), you can make these changes: remove all the seeds from the jalapeno before chopping (or leave it out altogether), leave out the chipotle chili powder, reduce regular chili powder to 2 tablespoons