Beef and Black Bean Chili

Beef and Black Bean Chili

With the weather beginning to cool down, I couldn’t wait to make a pot of chili! This beefy chili with black beans makes the perfect dinner or lunch on a cool October day!

I used some local grass-fed beef from my family’s favorite farm White Oak Pastures. They are really a farm that’s doing it right. They care about the welfare of their animals, and giving them a humane existence. Being a butcher, the quality of the meat that ends up on our family table is very important to me. These animals are antibiotic and hormone free, and spend their days grazing on White Oak’s lush pastures. It’s a truly inspirational place.

Wherever you get your beef from, make sure to use a cut that will braise well. I used shoulder clod, but any number of other tough cuts would work: chuck blade, chuck, bottom round, eye round, boneless short rib. I’m a fan of anything shoulder or “chuck” related for chilies like this. Just don’t get anything too tender. If you begin with a cut that’s tender to start with, it’ll overcook in the chili and actually become tough. So save the money and buy something cheap and tough!

I fell in love with the pumpkin beer that I used here. I’d never tried one before, but I’m a sucker for all things seasonal so I gave it a go. It’s smooth and light, and it worked great in the chili! Use anything you’d like to drink on the side. I also think a stout beer would work well here, because I love to use stouts in braises. If you’re not a beer drinker just use an extra cup of beef broth.

Happy fall, and I hope you love this chili!

Beef and Black Bean Chili Recipe

Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Soup
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 2lb lean beef shoulder (in small cubes)
  • 3 cups diced onion (about one large onion)
  • 2 cups bell pepper seeded and small diced (about 2 on the larger side)
  • 1 cup poblano pepper seeded and almost minced (about 2 large poblanos)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can pumpkin beer (or your favorite seasonal beer)
  • 2 cans black beans (15.5 oz cans)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz can)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus another 2 tsp. later)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder (plus another 1 Tbs. later)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (plus another 1 tsp. later)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (plus another 2 Tbs. later)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • sour cream
  • sliced green onion

Directions

Step 1
I like to get everything seasoned and chopped before I start, so that I'm not scrambling around to cook and take pictures. Since you'll just be cooking without the photo shoot, you could probably get away with chopping your veggies while your meat browns.

Anyway, I'm a non-multitasking scaredy cat so I chopped my veggies first. Here's my line-up.
onion and peppers
Step 2
I had one gigantic onion, a large and a medium bell pepper, and two large poblanos. I wouldn't get too hung up on the measurements or sizes being exact. I measured just to give you a guideline, but feel free to add more, less, or different veggies to make the chili your own!

I completely seeded my peppers.
seeded poblano pepper
Step 3
I'll be attempting to feed this to an almost four year old. So wish me luck, and feel free to add some seeds for extra heat in your chili.

Another thing I did to help get Wyatt to eat this was to practically mince the poblanos.
almost minced poblanos
Step 4
As you chop the veggies, add them into a bowl, and top with the minced garlic.

Now is a good time to heat up 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium high heat.
diced onion, peppers, and garlic
Step 5
Here's the beautiful grass fed beef. This is exactly 2 pounds of shoulder clod that has been: seamed out, trimmed of excess fat, and chopped into very small cubes.
grass fed beef cubes
Step 6
Just so you know, my "chili-sized" small cubes are small enough that you could easily scoop up three or four pieces per spoonful.

Toss the first round of spices in with the meat: 1tsp. salt, 2tsp. garlic powder, 1tsp. cumin, 1/2tsp. cinnamon, 1/2tsp. black pepper, 1Tbs. chili powder.
seasoned beef cubes
Step 7
Add half of the seasoned beef cubes to your heated oil, and brown for around 2 minutes.
browning chili meat
Step 8
After the first batch is brown, pull it to a bowl. Use a slotted spoon so that you leave all of your flavorful grease in the pan for the second round of beef.
pulling chili beef
Step 9
Now brown round two for another 2 minutes. This smells fantastic by the way! After it's brown add it to the bowl of beef.
chili meat
Step 10
Add one more Tbs. of oil into the hot pan, and dump in your big bowl of veggies. Give them a good stir to get everyone tossed in the beef flavored oil.
cooking chili veggies
Step 11
Cook around 8-10 minutes over the medium high heat, tossing occasionally.

Once they look softened and tasty, it's chipotle time!
chipotle peppers in adobo
Step 12
I scooped 2 heaping Tbs. right out of the can. I avoided any bigger pieces, and also made a point of getting plenty of adobo sauce in both of my scoops.

Stir those in with your softened veggies, and let that cook for a minute or so while you crack open some cans.
chili veggies
Step 13
Open and add:

a large can of crushed tomatoes,
crushed tomatoes
Step 14
two cans of black beans,
black beans
Step 15
one can of beer,
pumpkin beer
Step 16
and two cups of beef broth.
2 cups beef broth
Step 17
Stir everything together.

Add in the rest of your spices: 2tsp salt, 1Tbs garlic powder, 2Tbs chili powder, 1tsp cinnamon.
adding spices to chili
Step 18
Add back the browned beef and all of it's tasty beef juices.
adding beef back to chili
Step 19
Stir everything together again.
beef and black bean chili
Step 20
Realize you haven't used a big enough pot.

Dump the whole thing into the dutch oven you should have used in the first place.
Beef and Black Bean Chili
Step 21
*Or you could skip that step by just using a big enough pot in the first place!

Anyway, bring the whole shebang to a boil.
Beef and Black Bean Chili
Step 22
At this point the beef shoulder still needs to braise a bit. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for an hour stirring occasionally.

After it's cooked an hour covered, the beef should be tender enough, but now it needs to thicken up some (unless you'd like Beef and Black Bean Soup). I let mine simmer another half an hour uncovered still on medium low. Then I increased the heat to medium, and let it bubble and thicken for about 20-30 minutes.
Beef and Black Bean Chili
Step 23
I strongly recommend serving this with sour cream and sliced green onion.
Beef and Black Bean Chili
Step 24
Of course whatever beer you cooked with will be perfect on the side.
Beef and Black Bean Chili
Step 25
If I'd had any cornbread it would have been great with this.
Beef and Black Bean Chili
Step 26
But since I didn't, I just dove into the bowl!
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