Beef Chili with Anasazi Beans


You might remember from my post about berry-picking that I bought several pounds of dried beans at the Phipps Country Store over the summer. By now, I’ve used up most of those beans, minus a pound or so of soybeans, and a pound of anasazi beans. I’ve read that you’re not supposed to wait too long before using dried beans, or else they start to get wrinkly and tough. So I decided that I would use the anasazi beans to make some chili. I also happened to have a pound and a half of leftover grassfed beef roast, which I purchased from Paicines Ranch (located a little ways south of Hollister). With these two ingredients in mind, I looked for a chili recipe online, and happened upon a tasty-looking one from the Bob’s Red Mill website. The recipe was a perfect fit because it called for both anasazi beans AND cooked beef roast. What luck!

I ended up adapting the recipe a little bit, and it turned out delicious! It had just the right amount of kick, and a nice texture from the corn kernels, beans and meat. We served it with a slice of cornbread, topped with a little butter and honey, making for a very classic southwestern dish.

Ingredients:

1 lb. Anasazi beans
Canola oil spray
1 large onion (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
2- 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp. butter (softened)
3 Tbsp. instant flour (such as Wondra- regular flour will do too)
1-1/2 lb. cooked beef roast (diced)
2 cups corn kernels (frozen)

Details:

  1. Sort through the dried beans to remove any shriveled beans or pebbles. Rinse beans and place in a large pot. Cover with water, and bring to a boil. As soon as the water starts boiling, turn off the heat and let the beans soak for 5-8 hours.
  2. After soaking the beans, drain the water, and cover the beans with new water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 45 minutes, or until the beans are soft but retain their shape. Do not add salt during this step. Salt will harden the bean skin, which in turn wont allow the bean to cook as thoroughly.
  3. While the beans are cooking, spray a large stockpot with oil and saute the onion and green bell pepper for about 3 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and saute for another minute. Next add the bay leaf and all other spices, including salt. After coating the vegetables with spices, add the water and tomatoes. No need to drain any tomato juice from the diced tomatoes, just dump the contents of the can into the stockpot. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, and then reduce heat to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
  4. In a small saucepan, warm the butter over medium heat. Once melted, slowly begin incorporating the instant flour using a wooden spoon. You should obtain a smooth paste. Add this to the stockpot and stir well.
  5. Add the beef and frozen corn kernels to the stockpot. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Then add about 4 cups of cooked beans (depending on your preference) to the stockpot and cook for 5 more minutes. Save the rest of the beans for another use (they’re great on quesadillas, in chicken tacos, tossed into any old vegetable soup…etc…).
  6. Serve the chili with some shredded cheese and a slice of cornbread.

Makes 10 large servings.

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