Two-Bean Beef Chili
By Catherine Newman
Makes: 6 servings
Total carbohydrates: 27 grams per serving
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
This is a deliciously hearty, tangy version of the classic, and it’s amazingly easy to make. If you’d like to lower the carbs even further, consider swapping in another half-pound of beef for 1 can of beans (you can still call it “Two-Bean Chili” and we’ll never tell) and/or adding a couple of diced zucchini when you’re cooking the vegetables. Also, once you’ve gotten through step 3, feel free to pop the chili in a slow cooker and let it finish out its time in there for 2 or 3 hours on low.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 ½ pounds ground beef (ideally 85% lean)
3 tablespoons chili powder blend (see note below)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste) (or ½ teaspoon table salt)
1 (14-ounce) can pinto or pink beans (not drained)
1 (14-ounce) can black beans (not drained)
1 (14-ounce) can crushed or pureed tomatoes
0-2 tablespoons white vinegar
Toppings: grated cheese, sour cream, chopped red onions, hot sauce
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot, over medium-low heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté until the vegetables are tender but not browning, around 10 minutes.
Turn the heat to high and crumble the ground beef into the pot. Cook, breaking up the clumps with a spatula, until the meat is starting to brown and sizzle in its own fat, around 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low.
Add the chili powder, garlic powder, and salt, and stir just until the spices are fragrant, around 15 seconds. Stir in the beans with their liquid and the tomatoes.
Simmer the chili, uncovered and occasionally stirred, until it is thickened and delicious-looking, about 30-45 minutes, then taste it. If it is not completely fantastic, try to figure out what it needs. More salt? A dash of white vinegar? Add it and taste again, repeating until the chili tastes perfect.
Serve in bowls, letting everyone top their own at the table.
Note: “Chili powder blend” is the spice powder you might simply think of as “chili powder,” but instead of containing only ground, dried chiles (this is true “chile powder”), the blend also contains other seasonings, typically including cumin, garlic, and oregano. (You’ll see these additions if you look at the ingredients list of the chili powder you have on hand.)