Please join us to discuss everything literary (especially kid literary): good books, the writing life, the people and businesses who create books, controversies in book world, what's good to snack on while reading and writing, and anything else bookish. We welcome your thoughts.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Best Three-Bean Chile

by Cynthia Light Brown

My husband says this chile is GREAT. I like it too. Perfect for football watching and autumn days. I cook like I write; with some guidelines, but mostly by feel, so you might notice the amounts aren’t always specified. I like my chile with finely ground meat, and having it re-ground by the butcher helps with that. If you like, you can leave out the meat and add another can or two of beans. This isn’t super-hot chile, just nicely medium. If you like it hotter, use a lot more cayenne and chile powder.


2 lbs. ground beef, 85% lean (if possible, get it re-ground by your butcher)

vegetable oil

one onion

chili powder

cayenne pepper

1 28 oz can crushed or pureed tomatoes

1 can chile beans with sauce

1 can white beans

1 can black beans

one can beef or chicken broth


sugar – about 2 Tablespoons

red wine to taste


1. In a large fry pan, brown half the meat over low heat. Using the edge of a spatula, break the meat up into very small pieces while it’s browning. When it’s browned, place it on a plate and brown the second half.

2. While the meat is browning, generously cover the bottom of a large pot with vegetable oil. Chop the onion and sauté in the oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add in a few shakes of cayenne pepper, and as much chile powder as you like. I think I use about 2 Tablespoons.

3. Add the can of chile beans and meat to the pot – use a slotted spoon to scoop up the meat so the extra fat stays on the plate. Stir. Add about ¾ of the can of pureed tomatoes – more or less, depending on what looks good to you.

4. Drain and rinse the cans of white and black beans and add to the pot. Slowly add the beef or chicken broth until the consistency of the chile is how you like it. If it’s still too thick, add water.

5. Add the sugar, and the salt and wine to taste. I think I use about 1 T. of salt and about ¼ cup of wine.

6. Turn it down to low. Sit down. Root for the Steelers. At half-time, enjoy some chile.

No comments:

Post a Comment