Beef Chili

20 servings

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 onions, chopped

2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

2/3 cup chili powder

21/2  tablespoon cumin

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


15 garlic cloves, minced

5 pounds (85 percent lean) ground beef

5 (15.5-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed

2 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

3 (28-ounce) can tomato puree

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds.

Add the beef and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans, diced tomatoes with their juice, tomato puree, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue to simmer until the beef is tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.


The chili can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat over low heat, adding additional water or broth to adjust the consistency.


A combination of diced tomatoes and tomato puree works best to create a desirably thick consistency for this chili. Also, leaving the lid on for half of the cooking time helps give that perfect chili thickness.



Hearty Beef Stew

In last week’s Fundamentals class, we made a delicious beef stew from a chuck roast that we trimmed and cut. The recipe has two very unusual additions ~ anchovies and gelatin. Curious? One adds flavor, the other adds a gelatinous texture to the stew.

Tips for Beef Stew

Purchase a roast, steaks, or chops and cut your own stew meat. Don’t use packaged stew meat.

  • The best cuts of meat for stews come from the shoulder.
  • Trim away hard fat and silver skin.
  • Cut meat into evenly shaped chunks.
  • Heat oil in Dutch oven until just smoking.
  • Blot the meat dry and season before searing.
  • Brown the meat in batches to develop flavor.
  • Sauté the aromatic vegetables to enhance their flavor.
  • Add flour to the sautéed aromatic vegetables.
  • Deglaze the pot with cooking liquid.
  • Add browned meat and accumulated juices back to pot.
  • Add vegetables according to their cooking times.
  • Simmer stew in a 300-degree oven.




Beef Stew with Root Veggies

Olive oil
2 onion, peeled and sliced
3- 4 pounds chuck roast – cut into 2 inch pieces
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Flour, to dust
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into thick chunks
8 carrots, peeled and cut into thick chunks
4 turnips, peeled and quartered
8 ounces mushrooms, halved
1 pound small potatoes
4 tablespoons tomato puree
½ -1 bottle of red wine
2 cups beef or vegetable stock

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Put a small amount of olive oil into a casserole pan. Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan with all of the vegetables, the tomato puree, wine and stock. Gently stir together. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and a little salt. Bring to a boil, place the lid on top, then cook in the preheated oven until the meat is tender. Time varies depending on the cut of meat you are using and how fresh it is. (usually 3-4 hours) Once it is cooked, you can turn the oven down to 225 degrees and hold there until ready to eat.

Check periodically and add more wine, stock and tomatoes as needed or desired.

Experiment with different vegetables!!

I often leave out the potatoes and serve over rice or egg noodle



Red Curry Beef

Think of this as a Thai Sloppy Joe!
If you have a picky eater, serve theirs over rice prior to stirring in the scallions and spinach. These are also good in lettuce cups.

1 cup long-grain white rice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup coconut milk
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach, chopped
Juice and grated zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil
1/2 cup crushed unsalted peanuts

Bring the rice and 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside, covered.
Meanwhile, heat the oil, curry paste, soy sauce and sugar in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add ground beef and cook, crumbling meat with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and return mixture to a simmer. Stir in the scallions and spinach, and cook just until the greens wilt, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the lime juice, zest and basil. Serve over rice, garnished with peanuts. Makes 4 servings.