How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to moderate. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the beans and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender and the chili thickened, about 5 minutes longer.
Variation: Add one ten-ounce package of frozen corn, thawed, to the chili along with the beans.
Wine Recommendation: Red zinfandel is just made for chili because it's as flavorful and fun as chili is. If you choose to make the dish spicy with cayenne, the ripe fruity character of zinfandel can even cool the heat.
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