With the colder weather here I am finding myself going for more hearty soups and stews more often and one of my go to dishes are chilies. Chilies come in all different shapes and forms and I never tire of playing around with different ingredients but I always come back to the basics with a recipe like this one. When I have the time I like the grab some cubed stewing beef and do a slow braised chili con carne but if I do not have the time then ground beef makes a for a nice quick substitute the gives up little in flavour. This beef and black bean chili is easy to pull off on a week night and if you make a double batch you will have leftovers for more meals and the leftovers taste even the next day!
This chili is literally as easy to make as cooking the beef, sauteing the onions and then throwing everything into the pot to simmer. If you are in a rush you can simmer it for as little as say 20 minutes but if you have a bit more time simmering it longer will help bring out more flavour. Speaking of flavour there are a few things that you can tweak in this recipe to make it even tastier. Right now this recipe is on the healthier side but if you don’t mind you could cook a few slices of bacon after browning the beef and then sauteing the onions in the bacon grease and that will add a ton of flavour to the chili! Next up is the liquid and you could just use water but why not take the opportunity to build up more flavour by using something like beef broth, a cup of coffee or even a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. For this particular batch I used a chocolate stout for the liquid and the hint of chocolate was pretty amazing! I have also used straight up cocoa powder or even a small piece of dark chocolate in chilies before and it works quite well as does a touch cinnamon.
I see the top of a bowl of chili as an empty canvas just waiting to be filled as you can top your chili with pretty much anything. Some things that I often like to top a chili with include: cheeses, sour cream, cilantro, diced onions, radishes, avocado or even corn chips. This time I also made a jalapeno cornbread to go with the chili to help ensure that no bowl came back to the kitchen dirty. Of course you could serve the chili over rice, noodles or even corn chips.
Beef and Black Bean Chili
A quick and easy beef and bean chili that makes for a tasty, healthy and hearty weeknight meal.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons cumin, toasted and ground
- 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans, from 1/2 cup dry)
- 1 cup beef broth, beer or coffee
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- Cook the ground beef in a large pan over medium heat, breaking it apart as is cooks, drain any grease and set the beef aside.
- Add the oil in the pan, add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin and chili powders and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the tomatoes, beef, beans, broth, chipotle and oregano, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-50 minutes.