Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Simple Beef Chili

Last night for dinner I made Simple Beef Chili from The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook. Just like the name says, it was pretty simple to make but in spite of that simplicity the flavor was top notch.

Ingredients (serves 8 to 10):

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper (sans stem and seeds) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 minced garlic cloves (I hate cutting garlic, more so than even onions)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 lbs ground beef (recipe calls for 85% but I used 90%)
2 fifteen ounce cans red kidney beans (rinsed)
1 twenty-eight ounce can diced tomatoes
1 twenty-eight ounce can tomato puree

Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, oregano and cayenne pepper and cook until the vegetables are softened and starting to turn brown (stir occasionally), about 10 minutes. I prepped the vegetables in the morning during some down time (meaning my kids were zombified by a movie and the baby was strapped to me in the baby carrier) and threw them into a plastic container along with all of the needed spices. When I was ready to start cooking later in the day I just had to toss the contents into the Dutch oven which made things a lot easier.

Turn heat to medium high and add half of the ground beef; break up the meat and cook until no longer pink. Add the rest of the ground beef and cook until no longer pink.

Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for one hour making sure to occasionally stir. After an hour, remove the cover of the Dutch oven and simmer for one more hour until the beef is tender and the chili has darkened in color and has slightly thickened. Season with salt as desired.

Yum, especially with a side of homemade bread (thank goodness for bread machines!). My husband isn't a chili kind of person so he really didn't eat much but that is his loss and my gain because I have a ton of chili in the refrigerator just waiting for me to scarf down today for lunch. If for some reason there is any left over after a couple of days then I'll freeze it so I can stuff my face at a later date.

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