Beef Chili

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, March 2003.

I also use this recipe for a vegetarian chili in which I substitute additional beans and diced vegies (such as zucchini, mushrooms, and/or carrots) for the beef.

This recipe is best made ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld.

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 bell pepper (red or green), finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced/pressed
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
cayenne pepper to taste (1/4 tsp. is too much for my eldest daughter)
1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
1 can / 2 cups cooked kidney beans (16 ounces) (pick your favorite bean, I also like, white beans, black beans and pinto beans here)
1 28-oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes
Salt

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened and beginning to brown. Add the spices and cook a few minutes until darkened and aromatic.

Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the meat. Stir and break up the pieces until no longer pink. The meat should just begin to brown.

Add the beans, tomatoes and salt; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered for about an hour. Stir occasionally. Remove the cover and simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally until the chili is dark and slightly thickened. If the chili begins to stick, add a little water.

Serve with lime wedges and condiments.

Here is what may family likes with chili and tacos:

Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour Cream
Sour cream blended with a chipotle pepper
Diced avocado
sliced scallions/diced red onion
Finely chopped cilantro leaves (ok, I’m the one who likes this)
Sliced pickled jalenpenos
Hot sauce to spice it up for those who want it hotter

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