It’s Superbowl Sunday, and while I don’t care about the game all that much (I like close and interesting games, but NFL Football isn’t really my thing), I do like making “Game Day Food”. If I were having a gathering (which I am not), I might make this … Three Bean and Beef Chili. I like flavorful chili that isn’t over the top hot (feel free to adjust with cayenne, if it isn’t hot enough for you). Trick for keeping the beef tender? “Brining” with a bit of salt, water and baking soda. Works like a gem!
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons plus 2 cups water
Salt and pepper
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-inch pieces
1 ounce tortilla chips, crushed (1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1—2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can cannelli bean, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
To garnish, as desired
Coarsely chopped cilantro
Chopped red onion
shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
Preheat oven to 275F. Toss beef with 2 tablespoons water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and baking soda in bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place anchos in Dutch oven set over medium-high heat; toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, reducing heat if anchos begin to smoke. Transfer to food processor and let cool. Add tortilla chips, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, coriander, oregano, thyme, and 2 teaspoons pepper to food processor with anchos and process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl. Process tomatoes and their juice in now-empty work bowl until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Heat oil in now-empty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef and cook, stirring with wooden spoon to break meat up into 1/4-inch pieces, until beef is browned and fond begins to form on pot bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. Add ancho mixture and chipotle; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add remaining 2 cups water, all the beans, sugar, and tomato puree. Bring to boil, scraping bottom of pot to loosen any browned bits. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat is tender and chili is slightly thickened, 1 1/2 hours or so, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Remove chili from oven and let stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in any fat that has risen to top of chili, then add vinegar and season with salt to taste. Serve and garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, avocado, shedder cheese, sliced jalapeños and chopped red onion, as desired.