November 9th, 2010
And so it begins, the holiday season! It’s a favorite time of year but, somewhere along the way, fun turns into stress. At least for me. But this year I have a new plan. Instead of finding more efficient ways to go about my holiday business, I’m going to focus on ways to make my daily chores easier, leaving time to savor the baking, shopping, decorating and entertaining.
This dinner—and you know I don’t use the word “casserole” easily—is a total lifesaver. And delicious, too. With chili that’s been made ahead of time, it take only 5-10 minutes of your active attention. Plus, chili can be made 1 or 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge, many days in advance and stored in the freezer and/or cooked in the slow cooker. There is no better or easier prepared food to have on hand.
Here’s my latest chili recipe (I’m always tinkering!). I’m going to stick with it all winter. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Otherwise, here’s my other favorite beef chili recipe.
Hop on over to The Family Kitchen for my instructions on turning chili into Easiest Chili Casserole adding nothing more than frozen hash browns and shredded cheese.
Beef & Black Bean Chili
makes about 5 c chili
(can be shared with kids 8+ mos)
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 c finely chopped onion (about 1/2 a med onion)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 lbs beef
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cocoa
8 oz tomato sauce (about 1 cup)
2 c beef or chicken broth
2 15-oz cans black beans
chipotles in adobo
2 tsp cornmeal
1 tsp hot water
1 tsp hot sauce, optional
1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium flame. Saute onions and garlic until soft and fragrant.
2. Add ground beef, worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar, coriander and cocoa powder. Cook until spices are fragrant and beef is cooked through and browned in spots.
3. Add tomato sauce, broth, beans and as many chipotle peppers as you like. (I add 1 deseeded pepper, which gives a little bite, but keeps things on the milder side for our little one.) Cook down for about 15 minutes, until almost desired chili consistency.
4. In the meantime, mix cornmeal with hot water. When the 15 minutes are up, add cornmeal mixture and 1 tsp hot sauce plus 1 tsp of vinegar or, if skipping hot sauce, 2 tsp vinegar to the chili. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until perfect chili consistency.