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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Soup Sunday: Beef and black bean chili

Beef & black bean chili

So this is technically not a soup - it's a stew - but I figured that soup and stew are so similar that it could still count for Soup Sunday.

I was actually looking to buy puy lentils when I came across dried black beans. They don't seem to be very common here (I could be wrong but it was the first time I'd seen them) so I left the lentils behind and picked up a bag of black beans instead. I knew immediately what I wanted to make with them - chili!

Now apparently chili purists have a saying - "If you know beans about chili, you know chili ain't got no beans." So my chili is in no way authentic, but it was super tasty! The beans are so hearty and rich that it would be a shame to leave them out.

Beef & black bean chili

Beef and black bean chili

Makes a massive pot

500g dried black beans, soaked overnight
900g beef shin
6 tablespoons flour
4 teaspoons cayenne pepper (use less if you don't like things too spicy!)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons chilli powder
Olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery sticks, diced
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced into chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
800g canned tomatoes
Salt + pepper + sugar if necessary
Juice of a lemon/lime

Drain and rinse the black beans. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the flour, cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander and chilli powder. Toss the meat in the flour mixture to cover. Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the meat in batches until brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In a large pot, heat another splash of oil on medium heat, and add the onions. Cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the carrots and celery and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic and any left over flour mixture and cook for another minute.

Cut the beef into 2cm chunks and add to the vegetable mixture. Add the drained black beans, the canned tomatoes (crush them if you're using whole ones), and enough water to cover.

Let it come up to the boil, and then turn down to a simmer. Cook until beans are soft, stirring occasionally, this will probably take an hour or two (I did it in my magic pot so I don't know exactly how long).

When the beans are soft, season to taste with salt and pepper (and a teaspoon or so of sugar if necessary). Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon/lime juice.

Serve with sour cream and japalenos. I like to have a bit of crunchy salad with mine so I topped it with shredded cabbage and lettuce.

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