Friday, August 2, 2013

Ground Beef Chili with Beans

Still not chewing.  The dentist is on vacation, so I have to deal with the temporary crown for three weeks instead of two.  I'm not a huge chili fan because people seem to challenge each other when they make chili.  Do you dare to eat something that hot?

In a phrase, not without antihistamines and an inhaler.  But I do like the basic flavor of chili, when the hot peppers don't get in the way.

I got the starter recipe from this site, in an effort to find a truly Southern chili, and roughly cut it in half.  Read the whole post; she had fun with this one.

With a side of corn bread, it doesn't even look like I was trying to do anything special, diet-wise.  There are enough veggies in it for me to consider this a meal, since I shouldn't have crunchy salad for a bit longer.  I even lost a pound while working my way through the pot.

You don't have to cook your own beans.  I prefer it for salt and texture reasons.  You need about 3 cups of cooked kidney beans for this recipe, however you choose to obtain them.

1 C dry kidney beans (or 3 C canned, drained)
2 Tb olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef (15-20% fat)
*2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
*1 Tb worcestershire sauce
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can reduced-sodium beef broth
*1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
*1/4 tsp cumin
*1/4 tsp dried oregano
*2 tsp chili powder
garnishes like sour cream, shredded cheese, onions, jalapeños, etc.

1.  If using dried beans, soak the evening before in plenty of lightly salted water.  An hour before starting chili, drain and rinse.  Place in a medium saucepan with water to cover by one inch.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook until you need them for the chili.  Don't worry about over-cooking; you can't in this amount of time.

2.  In a medium soup pot on medium-high heat, heat oil.  Cook onion and pepper until tender, 5 minutes.  Add beef and cook until no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Drain off excess fat.

3.  Add everything else except the beans and garnishes.  (If you want to add something hot like diced chiles, now is the time.)  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 40 minutes.  It will be reduced and everything will be cooked through evenly.

4.  Drain the beans.  Reserve one cup of them and mash, like you would refried beans.  Put the rest in whole.  Add the mash and stir everything until evenly distributed.  Cook another 20 minutes to finish thickening the chili.

5.  Serve hot with corn bread or pasta, adding desired garnishes.

Serves 4-6, depending on side dishes

Difficulty rating  :)

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