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Beef Chili With Beans - My Way

If a chili doesn't have a Tex-Mex flavor with a clear Mediterranean note, is it still a chili?

When I started making grass-fed ground beef, I wanted to make traditional chili. It's football season and there's chili, cornbread, cookies, and beer everywhere in the kitchen.

The mirepey was ready and I grabbed some Tex-Mex spices from my pantry... and stopped... I just made the mirepe ... Before I knew it, the Francophile in me took over and added chili powder to it . Dried oregano, chipotle, chili flakes, etc. all made their way back to the pantry shelves. I just made Mirepoix...

Of course, I immediately swapped out the cornbread recipe I had in my head for a European cheese cracker , accompanied by a Mediterranean-style chili, casserole, stew, or something else. began to take shape.

It's a delicious comfort on a cold fall night, whether your team wins or not. Be sure to give the beans time to soak and cook. Like most chilis and stews, this recipe is delicious the same day but excellent the next day. Whether it's called chili or not is up to you...

Christina's Beef and Bean Chili: Your Way
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1 cup dried beans (I used local cranberry beans)
1 bay leaf, dried or fresh
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (1/4-inch pieces)
3 stalks celery, chopped (1/4-inch pieces)
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 padrón peppers, seeded and chopped
2 sweet Italian red peppers, seeded and chopped (1/4-inch pieces)
2 pounds lean ground beef
Olive oil for the pan
2 cups tomato sauce (preferably homemade)
2 cups beef broth
A sip or two of dry red wine.
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and allspice (adjust to taste)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Soak beans in a large pot with enough water to cover a 4-inch area for at least 4 hours.
Drain the beans, then fill the pot with fresh water to cover the beans by 2 inches, add the bay leaf, and cook over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender. Drain the beans, remove the bay leaf and place them in a warm place.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables as described in the ingredients list and have a large heavy-based frying pan and saucepan ready for the soup or stew.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil, the onion, carrots, and celery, and sauté until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the chopped garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the padron and peppers, cook for another minute, then add all the vegetables to the pot and reduce the heat to medium.
Add a little more olive oil to the same pan over medium heat and then add the minced meat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then stir and cook until pink. Pour the cooked meat into the pot, then add about 1/4 cup of red wine to the pan, stir to remove any brown bits, and pour into the pot.
Now add the tomato sauce, beef broth, 1 teaspoon of salt and the beans cooked with cinnamon and allspice to the pan.
Let everything simmer in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes.
Stir and add more salt if necessary and fresh black pepper if desired.
Garnish each serving with chopped fresh basil and buttermilk cheese crackers .

Copyright © 2005-2010, Kristin Cooks. All rights reserved

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