CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Three-Bean Super Bowl Chili

Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect time to throw together a pot of chili, especially if you have guests coming over for the big game. But stop reading this now if you are one among those who believe that chili doesn’t contain beans.

There are two schools of thought on the subject of whether beans belong in chili. As you might have guessed, I’m one of those chili aficionados who prefer legumes in my pot, not only because they add flavor but also because they are nutritious.

Beans are high in B-group vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium, are low in fat and a good source of folate, which is essential for women of child-bearing age. And that’s not to mention they are a good source of antioxidants, which may play a role in helping to prevent diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.

With that out of the way, this recipe is unique to me because it contains chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, as well as kidney and black beans, which are more standard fare among chilis that contain legumes. It’s also fairly mild, which should keep everyone happy, although I prefer my chili with a little more kick.

The nicest thing about this recipe is that it can be made in less than an hour, which will give party hosts plenty of time to mix up their dips, set out the chips and prepare whatever else they are going to serve hungry guests.

Hopefully, all of your guests won’t have a problem with beans in their chili. After all, the only confrontation we need today is on the football field between the Chiefs and the 49ers.

Three-Bean Chili
1 pound lean ground beef or bison
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons brown
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 15-ounce can or a 1 pint whole tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1½ cups water
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
Salt and pepper to taste1
Toppings (optional): shredded cheese sour cream, onion, olives, cilantro
Cook meat and onion in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until onion is softened. While it cooks, use a wooden spoon to crumble the meat into small chunks. Add jalapeño, chili powder, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, cumin, and garlic powder. Cook for 1 minute, stirring to mix everything.
Add diced tomato, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water and broth. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If too thick, add a little more water or broth.
Add beans and salt and pepper and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve with desired toppings.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

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