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Beef and Black Bean Chili with Toasted Cumin Crema and Avocado Relish

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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1/4 cup olive oil

2 pounds beef, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large red onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tablespoons ancho chili powder

1 tablespoon pasilla chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 bottle dark beer

5 cups homemade chicken stock, or canned low-sodium or water

1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained and pureed

1 tablespoon chipotle pepper puree

1 tablespoon honey

2 cups cooked or canned black beans, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Toasted Cumin Crema, recipe follows

Avocado Relish, recipe follows

Toasted Cumin Crema:

1 tablespoon cumin seed

1 cup Mexican crema or creme fraiche

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Avocado Relish:

2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

1/2 small red onion, finely diced

1 jalapeno or serrano chile, finely diced

Lime juice

Chopped cilantro leaves

Salt and pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper, and saute until browned on all sides. Transfer the meat to a plate and remove all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
  2. Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ancho powder, pasilla powder, and cumin and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the beer and cook until completely reduced. Return the beef to the pot, add the chicken stock, tomatoes, chipotle puree, and honey, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the beans and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice, and adjust seasonings.
  3. Serve with a dollop of Toasted Cumin Crema and Avocado Relish.

Toasted Cumin Crema:

  1. Place the cumin in a small saute pan over medium heat. Toast until lightly golden brown. Place in a small bowl. Stir in the crema and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place in a squeeze bottle.

Avocado Relish:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
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