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Southwestern Beef and Black Bean Chili

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Serves 6 to 8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 127

  • 4-1/2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 lb. ground beef (preferably 80% lean)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 to 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh red bell pepper
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. New Mexico chile powder
  • 3/4 cup beer, preferably lager
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1-1/2 cups beef broth (homemade or lower-salt store-bought)
  • 7 cups cooked black beans (home-cooked or canned from four 15-oz. cans, rinsed and drained)
  • 3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup diced zucchini (1/2-inch dice)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • Garnishes: grated Monterey Jack, chopped fresh jalapeños, pepitas

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a heavy-duty 6-quart pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Season the beef with 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Cook half of the beef, undisturbed, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Break up the meat and cook, stirring or turning occasionally, until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Add another 1 Tbs. oil to the pot, and brown the remaining beef; transfer to the plate along with any liquid from the pot.

Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. of oil, the onion, and garlic to the pot. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper, jalapeño, chili powder, cumin, tomato paste, and New Mexico chile powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour in the beer, turn the heat up to high, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add the canned tomatoes and beef broth and bring to a simmer.

Turn the heat down to medium low. Purée 1-1/2 cups of the beans in a blender or food processor, adding a little stewing liquid as needed, and then stir the puréed beans into the stewing liquid in the pot. Add the remaining whole beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the ground beef back to the pot, and cook for 30 minutes more. If the chili gets too thick, thin it with a little water.

Add the corn and zucchini to the chili and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the lime juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the garnishes.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 720; Fat (g): fat g 39; Fat Calories (kcal): 340; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 14; Protein (g): protein g 42; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 52; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 850; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 90; Fiber (g): fiber g 13;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is excellent chili. My family loved it. I used a packet of chili premixed spices, but otherwise I followed the recipe. Pureeing the beans and adding them back in to create thickness and flavor is genius. I will definitely make this again and again.

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