Monday, October 15, 2007

Man Food: Spicy Black Bean Chili

Every other Sunday afternoon, Mr.W and a bunch of his guy friends get together for an afternoon of games, burping, scratching, and whatever else men do when they're in a room together for several hours. They like to gather in our basement, where there is a large wood table, several mismatched chairs, a coffee pot, a microwave, and enough room for about 10 men.

I usually cook something for these man-meetings. No canapes or delicate vegetable concoctions will do--no, indeed they require something spicy, something greasy, something... manly.

Yesterday I served Spicy Black Bean Chili. It's assertive yet moderate heat builds slowly as you eat. With an array of optional toppings, it's a veritable feast fit for a roomful of kings!

Spicy Black Bean Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds ground beef (I prefer coarse ground if I can find it)
1 tablespoon chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce, plus 4 canfulls (32 ounces total) hot water
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
2/3 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 15-ounce cans black beans
1 heaping tablespoon masa flour

Heat a large skillet or over a medium flame. Add olive oil and turn pan to coat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring frequently, until no pink is visible. Drain ground beef in a sieve to remove rendered grease. Now transfer meat to a large stock pot--this make a large, manly amount of chili! Add to the cooked ground beef: onion, garlic, tomato sauce, salt, paprika, oregano, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and black beans. Stir well to combine. Set over a medium flame and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a glass or plastic measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup hot water with masa flour. Stir to make a thin, pourable mixture.

Pour masa mixture into simmering chili; cover pot and simmer for another 15 minutes to thicken. Serve in mugs or bowls with any number of toppings, which might include: salsa, sour cream, shredded or chunk cheddar or colby or monterey jack cheese, chopped onion and jalapeno slices.

This is the first of many future man food blog entries--I encourage you to make these recipes for yourselves, or your hairy loved ones. It's not pretty, no, it's not girly, or even something that photographs well--but it's good!



Chef Mom said...

At the cost of sounding un-womanly, I have to admit this dish tempts me...I so love a spicy hot soup/stew chilli with big chunks of cheese melting on its surface. Just like your awesome picture there!

Mrs. W said...

Me, too! There's a time for pretty food, and there's a time for just plain ole sloppy good eatin!

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