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25 June 2008 @ 12:07 pm
Beef and Black Bean Chilli  
I have no idea what an authentic chilli is like, but I do know it is the subect of considerable debate among foodie types. This is my version, not the least bit authentic, but lovely flavours and not too much heat (you could up the chilli powder if you prefer, I have to take a 10 year old into account when I am cooking).

Serves 6 (or 4 big serves if you're really hungry)

1 cup dry black beans, soaked overnight and then cooked in water for about 40 minutes
300-400g lean beef mince
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
2 tablespoons ground cumin (get it in bulk from an Indian grocer, way cheaper and more flavour)
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder*
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbs tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Fry onion in some olive oil until softened. Add garlic, mince, cumin and chilli powder and brown the mince, breaking up lumps as you go.

Once mince has browned, add tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock, cooked black beans, thyme and oregano. Stir while bringing to the boil and simmer, covered, for about 60-90 minutes until it's rich and thick. If it doesn't thicken enough to your liking, try taking the lid off for the last 20 minutes or so.

Add kidney beans and heat through again. Serve with corn chips. Also good in tacos.

* I have gathered from watching a million American cooking shows that chilli powder in the US is something different to here. Ours is just ground chilli, and as a consequence, it's REALLY hot. I believe the American version is some kind of spice mix with cumin and other things already in it. I could be wrong, though.
peachthief on June 25th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
You're right about the chili powder. It varies from maker to maker depending on what spices they use - it's flavorful, but not terribly spicy. Cayenne Pepper is our version of ground up chili peppers - and it's quite hot.

I love chili and I love making chili - nom nom nom.
angriest_girl on June 25th, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)
Oooh, do you have a chilli recipe of your own you'd care to share? I always like to try new things!

I figured out there must have been a difference between our chilli powder and yours when I saw Tyler Florence put two heaped tablespoons in something once. If you tried that with ours, you'd probably go blind!

I use cayenne pepper in a couple of recipes but I have to be super careful with it - it's so easy to use just that teeny bit too much and make it really spicy!
peachthief on June 26th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
I usually make chili with whatever I have on hand so it's never exactly the same way twice - but here's a close approximation:

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium or large onion, diced
1-2 bell peppers, diced (either red or green, but not both)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 chile pepper, diced (either jalapeno or anaheim)
1/2 a beer (optional)
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes in puree
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
6 ox. can tomato paste
Spices - all measurements approximate, use spice to taste
1/4 Cup chili powder
2-3 TB cumin
1-2 tsp. ground coriander seed
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee onion, bell peppers and jalapeno in a few tsp of olive oil until soft and caramelized, about twenty minutes. Add ground beef and garlic. Cook until beef has just lost its raw color, but before it browns. Add the tomato paste and spices and cook until it begins to caramelize - about 3-5 minutes. Deglaze with the beer if you have it, if not -
add in the crushed and diced tomatoes. Simmer for at least a half hour to allow all the flavors to mingle and adjust seasoning.
peachthief on June 26th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
Whoops - I knew I forgot something!

I usually add in two cans of either kidney, pinto or black beans depending on what I have on hand.