Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Easy Beef and Bean Chili

When I make chili with beans (a sin in Texas), I usually start from scratch with dry kidney or black beans. But canned beans work too, if time is an issue. That said, a good chili still needs time to get really good, allowing the flavors of the meat, tomatoes, chile peppers, garlic, and everything else to meld. Let it simmer slowly for at least an hour.

Time also allows the chili to thicken, and we like thick chili at my house. To me, the juice from the tomatoes keeps it soupy enough, along with the moisture added when all the ingredients cook down. If you prefer it thinner, add a little chicken or vegetable broth to reach your desired consistency. (Don’t water down the flavors with…water.)

Note: Around here we like things hot too. You can tame the heat by using fewer chiles or by substituting milder ones. For instance, substitute the fataliis or habaneros with jalapeno or serrano. Still too hot? Choose poblanos or fresnos.

For more about the fatalii chile, check out Chicken and Black Bean Nachos with Cheddar Sauce. For a couple more chili recipes, see Texas-Style Chili with Dried-Chile Broth and Chorizo and Red Bean Chili.

Serves 4-5

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 fatalii or habanero chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 2-1/2 tbsp chile powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 15-oz can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 
Chili Ingredients
  1. Heat a stockpot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the garlic, chiles, onion, bell pepper, and ground sirloin and cook 5 minutes, breaking up the beef as it cooks.
  2. Add the tomatoes with juice (crushing them in your fingers), chipotle pepper, chile powder, ground cumin, and oregano and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 45 minutes. (Set the lid slightly ajar if the chili boils.)
  4. Add the beans and cook uncovered 15-20 minutes. Season with a little additional salt, if desired.
Beef Mixture Beginning to Cook 
Cooked Beef Mixture
Tomato Mixture Added
After 45 Minutes
Beans Added
Divide the chili among 4-5 bowls and serve.

Easy Beef and Bean Chili

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