I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Jeff and I tried out a bunch of new chili dishes this past football season. This is yet another really good find. And a healthy one to boot. What we both found so unique about this recipe is that it uses canned refried beans as a thickening agent — a very tasty trick.
I initially picked this recipe to test because it’s made with black beans (my favorite bean), and because it’s a slow cooker recipe (always a big plus when we’re out hiking on the weekends). But, we ended up using the stove top method to cook this dish — mainly because we were just too lazy to get up early enough on a Saturday morning to get it started. We’d planned a short local hike that day, but also planned to be home in time for the Ravens @ Steelers AFC divisional playoff game late that afternoon. So, we knew we were safe getting the stove top version ready in time for dinner.
I can’t wait to try this dish again, but I’ll use the slow cooker next time.
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 fresh jalapeno or poblano peppers (our addition), diced (remove seed and stems if you don’t want heat)
- 2 tsp. olive oil + more for browning meat if needed
- 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
- 1 quart beef stock, simmer to reduce to 2 cups (homemade or two cans beef broth. Don’t reduce for stovetop cooking.)
- 3 cans (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 oz.) refried pinto beans2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes
- 2 T dried cilantro
- 2 T chile powder (preferably New Mexico chile powder)
- 2 T Ancho chile powder (or 2 T more regular chile powder)
- 1 T ground cumin
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice, plus sliced limes to squeeze into chili
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish if desired
- Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped onions and saute 4-5 minutes, until softened and barely starting to brown. Add onions to crockpot. Add ground beef to same pan, adding more oil if needed, then brown beef well, breaking up with metal turner as it cooks. Add beef to crockpot.
- While onions and beef are being cooked, put beef stock into saucepan and simmer until reduced to 2 cups. (Skip this step if cooking the chili on stovetop.) When stock is reduced, add refried beans and whisk to blend into stock, then add to crockpot.
- While stock is reducing, place a colander in the sink and add canned black beans. Rinse beans well with cold water until no more foam appears. (This removes some of the salt from canned beans and makes them much more digestible.) Then add beans, stock-refried beans mixture, tomatoes, dried cilantro, chile powder, ancho chile powder, and ground cumin to crockpot. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or until beans are soft and flavors are well blended. When chili is done, stir in lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro and let cook 15 minutes. Serve hot, with slices of lime and additional chopped cilantro to add as garnish if desired.
- Note: A 5-quart slow cooker is recommended.
- For stovetop cooking, skip the step of reducing the beef broth, but follow all other directions, adding ingredients to large soup pot and simmering at low heat about an hour.