Black bean chili, a hearty winter dinner
Dispel the myth. Chili is not a native Mexican dish and bears little resemblance to cuisine from the South American country Chile.
Most early references referred to “chili con carne” or meat stew. Some legends trace it to a Spanish nun who came to the New World in the 17th century, while others say that settlers from the Canary Islands brought it to San Antonio, Texas, in 1731.
Chili has evolved in many forms and has spawned cook-offs everywhere from county fairs to national festivals. Except for meatless recipes, all have two things in common: meat and some form of peppers.
Mary “Mom” Unser, matriarch of the famous auto racing family, made hers with shredded pork, vodka, and large cans of jalapenos. Many varieties are topped with items like cheese or poured over spaghetti.
The recipe below uses Louisiana hot sauce in place of the traditional chili powder. Add the hot sauce and pepper to suit your taste.
Quick black bean chili
1 pound ground beef chuck, turkey or chicken
1 medium onion, diced
1 14-15 ounce can chili-ready tomatoes
1 14-15 ounce can beef broth
1 14-15 ounce can black beans
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons ketchup
10 dashes Louisiana hot sauce, Tabasco, or small can of peppers
Salt to taste
In a large, deep skillet or wok, brown the meat and onions, then add the salt, pepper and hot sauce.
Add the beans, tomatoes and broth, then simmer on low for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve as a main course with crackers or in a cup as a soup course. The mixture freezes well and still tastes great as a leftover.