Crockpot Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro
(This was an old recipe that had been removed from my site. I am adding back the printer-friendly recipe at the request of someone hwo liked it and wanted the recipe.)
(I used my 5-Quart Smart-Pot Crock-Pot to make this chili, but I think any size that’s close to that will work. Be sure the crockpot is at least half full when you use it to make soup or chili.)
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 tsp. olive oil + 2 tsp. more for browning meat if needed
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 quart beef stock, simmer to reduce to 2 cups (I used my homemade beef stock, but you can use two cans beef broth. Don’t reduce for stovetop cooking.)
3 cans (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) refried pinto beans
2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes
2 T dried cilantro
2 T chile powder (preferably New Mexico chile powder)
2 T Ancho chile powder (or 2 T more regular chile powder)
1 T ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, plus sliced limes to squeeze into chili if desired
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish if desired
low-fat sour cream for serving if desired (optional)
Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped onions and saute 4-5 minutes, until softened and barely starting to brown. Add onions to crockpot. Add ground beef to same pan, adding more oil if needed, then brown beef well, breaking up with metal turner as it cooks. Add beef to crockpot.
While onions and beef are being cooked, put beef stock into saucepan and simmer until reduced to 2 cups. (Skip this step if cooking the chili on stovetop.) When stock is reduced, add refried beans and whisk to blend into stock, then add to crockpot.
While stock is reducing, place a colander in the sink and add canned black beans. Rinse beans well with cold water until no more foam appears. (This removes some of the salt from canned beans and makes them much more digestible.)
Then add beans, stock-refried beans mixture, tomatoes, dried cilantro, chile powder, ancho chile powder, and ground cumin to crockpot.
Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours, or until beans are soft and flavors are well blended. When chili is done, stir in lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro and let cook 15 minutes.
Serve hot, with slices of lime and additional chopped cilantro to add as garnish if desired. I like this with a dollop of low-fat sour cream.
Cooking on the Stove:
For stovetop cooking, skip the step of reducing the beef broth, but follow all other directions, adding ingredients to large soup pot and simmering at low heat about an hour.