Sunday, December 7, 2008

Black Bean and Steak Chili

The snow calls for something warm and hearty. A big pot of chili and some mini cornbread muffins are just the ticket to satisfaction through the storm.

At our house we have a strange problem. Two years ago we started buying our beef from a rancher in Iowa, who will sell us 1/4 a beef at a time. He butchers and then splits all the cuts into 4 sections so everyone gets the same amount of each cut. It takes us a solid year to eat it. This year we got it in May and the hamburger is almost gone - but the freezer is overflowing with steak and roasts. What to do, what to do? We had better start eating more steak.

Clarinda, Kevin's friend who introduced him to the church, made steak chili for him once, and he decided to make it for us so. Just so you don't get the wrong idea, Clarinda is my friend, too. And why wouldn't she be? She is wonderful. And if she hadn't been Kevin's friend, Kevin and I may have never left. Yes, we owe a lot to the lovely Clarinda. But she was Kevin's friend before I even knew her, so she is listed as "Kevin's Friend."

Here is the whole pot before it simmers down. It thickens and darkens as it simmers.

Isn't this little cornbread muffin the cutest thing you've ever seen? I will refrain from giving you the recipe because, quite frankly, it was a new recipe and not a big hit. We wanted to try a recipe that had pieces of whole corn in it, and this one turned out to be mostly corn and only a little bit of cornbread. Bluuck.

Grill the steak and cut it into very, very small pieces. You don't want to get a bite of nothing but steak. Kevin calls it 'nibble size.'

Black Bean and Steak Chili
2 - 6 ounce steaks, grilled and diced
2 sandwich bags of frozen roasted tomato puree - or 2 cans of tomatoes, 1 chopped red or green pepper, and 1 chopped onion
2 cans black beans, or 3 cups cooked black beans
2 T chili powder
1 T paprika
1 t salt
dash cayenne
Add tomatoes, pepper and onions to large pot and simmer until tender. Then add everything except the beans. If you are using the roasted tomato puree, add everything except beans to the pot. Let it simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat. Add beans and continue to simmer long enough to heat them thoroughly. Add water to desired thickness.

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