Fall Meals: Beef & Black Bean Chili with Chipotle and Avocado

I love chili!  It is such a satisfying fall and winter meal.  Plus, it usually packs some heat which I love.  And, it usually only requires a single pot!

I was looking for a new chili recipe using ground beef so I could use the remaining ground beef from our half steer.  This Fine Cooking recipe was quick enough for a weeknight meal and had a unique method of pureeing black beans, diced tomatoes, and chipotles in adobo sauce to thicken the chili and provide a wonderful hot smoky flavor.

The red onion, avocado and lime relish that is served on top of the chili is a great addition to the dish (or to any chili or taco recipe).  I used two avocados rather than the one called for in the recipe since Tim and I both love avocado.

I will definitely be making this chili recipe again this fall!

Beef & Black Bean Chili with Chipotle and Avocado
Fine Cooking

  • 3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes (I used whole tomatoes which worked well)
  • 1 medium chipotle plus 2 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut in a medium dice

Put one-third of the beans into the bowl of a food processor, along with the tomatoes and their juices, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Process until smooth and set aside.

Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or similar heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering hot, about 2 min. Add the beef, season with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until it loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a large plate using a slotted spoon. Add half of the onion and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown and soften, about 3 min. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook for 20 seconds. Add the remaining black beans, the puréed bean mixture, and the beef to the pot and simmer for 10 min., stirring frequently. Add half of the lime juice, half of the cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. If the chili is thicker than you like, it may be thinned with water.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining lime juice and onion with the avocado. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve the chili topped with the avocado mixture and remaining cilantro.

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