There's a certain romance about a big pot of chili simmering seductively on the stove all day – except when it's a busy weeknight, no time for thinking, let alone tending the stove. This is a chill-blasting chili that cooks in 20 minutes, start to finish. The recipe uses a couple of favorite convenience products, black beans and salsa, both easy to keep handy in the pantry. This column was first published in print in 2003 and is now published online for the first time in 2011.
March days can chill our bones! We are so ready for spring but winter somehow just hangs on. And on and on. And on.
For a fast warm-up, turn to Twenty-Minute Beefy Black Bean Chili for supper some damp, cold night. It requires only 20 minutes from stove to table so is also a good choice for a last-minute supper. If you like the recipe, keep the ingredients on hand in the pantry and freezer so you can cook up a batch at a moment’s notice.
BEEFY BLACK BEAN CHILI
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 6 cups
- 1 pound stew meat cut in bite-size pieces or lean ground round broken into bite-size chunks
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans
- 1 cup salsa
- 15 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon prepared chili mix (or 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne)
- For serving, cheddar cheese and fried corn tortilla strips, optional
Heat a large, well-seasoned skillet on medium high, add the meat to the dry skillet, let the meat cook, without moving, for a minute or two until a crust begins to form, then turn to cook another side. Repeat two or three times as needed. If needed, drain off any fat that collects.
Meanwhile, drain and mash one can of beans. Add the mashed beans and the remaining ingredients and stir. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Serve topped with cheese and tortillas.
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