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Cumin Chili

Yield 4
You'll get a clear taste of cumin in this great cold-weather chili made with ground beef, beans, and green bell pepper. If you want a hotter chili, add as much cayenne as you like.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 1/3 cups canned whole tomatoes with their juice (one 28-ounce can), broken up
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups drained and rinsed canned pinto or kidney beans (one 15-ounce can)

How to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Variation: Add one ten-ounce package of frozen corn, thawed, to the chili along with the beans.

  4. 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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