Easy Beef and Bean Chili

Merced Sun-Star - - Explore -

You can use this recipe for a sim­ple chili and then fla­vor it in dif­fer­ent ways. Ex­per­i­ment with sin­gle ground chiles in place of the mixed chili pow­der; ground co­rian­der along with the cumin; or smoked pa­prika for smoky depth and an ex­tra rich red color. Whichever way you choose, keep it sim­ple so the spices shine through. You can also use ground lamb, bi­son or tur­key in­stead of beef, or ve­gan meat sub­sti­tutes such as Beyond Meat. For chili cheese hot dogs, fries or na­chos, use this chili and top with finely shred­ded ched­dar cheese.

Time: 30 min­utes

Yields: Serves 4

2 ta­ble­spoons veg­etable oil

1 pound ground beef

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pep­per

2 ta­ble­spoons chili pow­der

2 tea­spoons ground cumin

2 tea­spoons dried oregano

1 tea­spoon sweet pa­prika

2 ta­ble­spoons dou­blecon­cen­trate tomato paste 2 ta­ble­spoons all-pur­pose flour 2 cups beef or chicken stock (or wa­ter)

1 can (15 ounces) or­ganic red kid­ney, pink or pinto beans, undrained

Shred­ded sharp ched­dar or Colby jack cheese, sour cream, diced av­o­cado or gua­camole, diced red onion and thinly sliced scal­lions, for serv­ing

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the beef, sea­son with salt and pep­per and cook, stir­ring to break it up, un­til no longer pink, 4 to 5 min­utes. Sprin­kle over the chili pow­der, oregano, cumin and pa­prika and cook, stir­ring, un­til the spices are toasted in the fat, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, and cook, stir­ring, un­til lightly caramelize­d, 1 to 2 min­utes.

Sprin­kle the flour over the beef and cook, stir­ring, to cook off the raw fla­vor of the flour, about 1 minute. Pour in the beans, liq­uid and all, then pour the stock into the can of beans to help loosen any stuck beans and rinse the rest of the liq­uid out of the can; pour it into the pan. Stir ev­ery­thing to com­bine, then bring to a boil. Re­duce the heat to main­tain a gen­tle sim­mer, and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til thick­ened and slightly re­duced, about 15 min­utes. Re­move the pan from the heat and sea­son again with salt and pep­per.

Serve the chili topped with cheese, a dol­lop of sour cream, av­o­cado, red onion and scal­lions.

VARI­A­TIONS:

No-Bean Chili: Omit the beans and dou­ble the beef for a to­tal of 2 pounds.

Ve­gan Chili: Sub­sti­tute 1 pound Beyond Meat for the beef and sub­sti­tute veg­etable stock, mush­room broth or wa­ter for beef stock.

Sea­soned Ground Beef for Tacos: Cook the recipe through Step 1, then re­move from the heat and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Use as a fill­ing for tacos.

Make Ahead: Keep in an air­tight con­tainer in the re­frig­er­a­tor for up to 5 days.

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