My Recipe Box

Beef & Black Bean Chili with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

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Serves 6 to 8

  • by from SIP 2

There's nothing better on game night than a warming bowl of meaty chili. Your team may not win, but at least the chili won't disappoint. Make this one your own by adding shredded cheddar or extra cilantro and lime. 

  • 3 oz. bacon (about 3 slices), thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lb. chuck steak, trimmed and cut into thin 1-inch strips
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef (preferably chuck)
  • 2 medium onions (about 12 oz. total), cut in a medium dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, cored, seeded, and finely diced
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder, more to taste
  • One 12-oz. bottle lager beer
  • One 28-oz. can tomato purée
  • 1 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (about one 16-oz. can), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup sour cream

Cook the bacon with 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until it renders most of its fat and starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Season the sliced chuck steak with 3/4 tsp. salt, raise the heat to high, and sauté the beef until it loses its raw color and starts to brown in places. Add the ground beef and sauté, stirring, until it loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and lower the heat to medium-high.

Add the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and the onions to the pot, season with 3/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften and start to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño, and chili powder and cook, stirring for 20 seconds. Add the beer and cook, stirring, until the beer reduces by about half, about 3 minutes.

Put the beef back into the pot and add the tomato purée and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer (between low and medium-low heat) and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Stir in the beans, 1/4 cup of the chopped cilantro, and the oregano, and cook for 20 minutes more. Taste for chili powder, salt, and pepper. Keep warm until serving.

Just before serving, zest and juice the lime. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro, the lime zest, and 2 tsp. of the lime juice with the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper and more lime juice to taste. To serve, ladle the chili into large bowls and top each with a dollop of sour cream and a little more cilantro and lime.

Make Ahead Tips

If you want to make the dish ahead, let it cool down at room temperature and then refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat over low heat until it’s hot throughout.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Homemade Tortilla Chips and Classic Buttermilk Cornbread.

Photo: Scott Phillips

I didn't change much. I doubled the garlic, because I always do that. I added probably a quarter teaspoon of liquid smoke and probably a half teaspoon of allspice, which I think really improves chili. I used a fair bit more chili powder than the recipe called for, as well as some hot pepper sauce, because I like it a little spicier, but everyone will figure that out for themselves. But other than fairly minor mods to the spices, I followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out great. I'd suggest cooking the tomato-broth-meat combination open for the first half hour or so to let it thicken up a little. If I'd had another can of black beans, I would have added it, because the bean-to-meat ratio seemed too low, but after eating it I'm glad I didn't because in fact it was just right. Don't skip the sour-cream mixture, it really makes the dish. Excellent recipe. If I were doing it for company I'd definitely serve it with homemade masa tortillas.

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