Sunday, 1 November 2009

Bobby's Beef and Black Bean Chili with Avocado Relish

I have to admit, this is the first time I have made chili with stewing beef. My eyes have been opened, no more ground beef chili for me. Ok, I will probably still make ground beef chili from time to time, but my point is - how come nobody told me how good it was to have tender chunks of fall-apart beef in the pot?
This is a rich and spicy chili, Bobby Flay never fails to deliver in the flavour department. His is served with a toasted cumin crema, and I have included the recipe for that, but I used my lovely and creamy cottage cheese from yesterday's post.
I halved the chili recipe and got at least four generous servings, but I made the entire avocado relish recipe - which we ate in one sitting! I love the contrast of the spicy chili, the creamy coolness of the cheese, and the bright flavours of the relish. A wonderful combination indeed.

Beef and Black Bean Chili with Avocado Relish
Bobby Flay,

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 (I didn't have this - so I used chipotle chili powder)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 bottle dark beer (I had regular Canadian lager.. but I thought dark thoughts)
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 (I just went ahead and used the whole can for my half batch)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Toasted Cumin Crema, recipe follows (I used my cottage cheese from yesterday)
Avocado Relish, recipe follows

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.

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.

Serve with a dollop of Toasted Cumin Crema and Avocado Relish.

Toasted Cumin Crema:
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 cup Mexican crema or creme fraiche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
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:
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
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.