With the goal of developing a no-fuss chili that would taste far better than the sum of its parts, we knew that adding the spices with the aromatics would boost their potency. Commercial chili powder, backed by cumin, coriander, cayenne, oregano, and red pepper flakes, provided plenty of spice notes and heat. For the meat, 85 percent lean ground beef gave us full, deep flavor. Using both diced tomatoes and tomato puree provided chunks of tomato and a rich, thick sauce. Adding the beans with the tomatoes ensured that they cooked enough to absorb flavor but not so much that they fell apart. Finally, cooking the chili with the lid on for only half the simmering time resulted in a rich, thick consistency. Note that chilis made of mostly beef (and a few vegetables) tend to freeze well. Serve with lime wedges, chopped
cilantro, sliced scallions, minced onion, diced avocado, shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, and/or sour cream.
- Yield: 8 Servings
- Total Time: 2 Hours 20 Minutes
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
- 2 (15-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
- Combine chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt in bowl.
- Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and bell pepper and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in half of beef. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, breaking up meat with spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add remaining beef and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in beans, diced tomatoes with their juice, and tomato puree and bring to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to gentle simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
- Uncover and continue to simmer gently until beef is tender and sauce is dark, rich, and slightly thickened, about 45 minutes longer. (If chili begins to stick to bottom of pot or looks too thick, stir in water as needed.) Season with salt to taste. Serve.