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Beef Chili with Beans
© John Kernick

Beef Chili with Beans

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8
  • MAKE-AHEAD

"Chili means Halloween to me," Grant Achatz says. When he was growing up, his mother would always serve it to him and his cousins before they went trick or treating as a way to counteract the sugar buzz to come. The smoky, spicy version here is a slightly modified version of his mother's chili, made with ancho, pasilla and chipotle powders, plus a homemade blend of seasonings and fresh herbs.

  1. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  2. 3 pounds ground beef chuck
  3. 2 large onions, finely chopped
  4. 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  5. 5 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 3 tablespoons pure ancho chile powder
  7. 3 tablespoons pure pasilla chile powder
  8. 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  9. 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  10. 1 tablespoon sugar
  11. 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  12. 2 teaspoons chopped oregano
  13. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  14. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  15. 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  16. One 15-ounce can pinto beans
  17. One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with the juices
  18. 5 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and finely chopped
  19. 1 cup tomato sauce
  20. 1/4 cup tomato paste
  21. 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  22. Juice of 1 lime
  23. Salt
  1. In a large, heavy pot or a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add half of the ground beef and cook over high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Brown the remaining ground beef. Return the first batch of browned beef to the pot.
  2. Add the onions and pepper to the pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, chile powders, cumin, coriander, sugar, thyme, oregano, black pepper and cayenne and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the beef broth, pinto beans, tomatoes, chipotles, tomato sauce, tomato paste and the vinegar. Simmer the chili over low heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the lime juice, season with salt and serve.
Make Ahead The chili can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

This spicy beef-and-bean chili needs a wine that can stand up to its bold flavors, like a California Zinfandel.