Hot Chile for Cold Days

Photo: Rene's Beef and Chorizo Chile

With a snowstorm arriving in Reno last weekend, my thoughts turned to warm comfort food. Weather like this calls for at least stew, soup, or chile. I went with the latter. Usually, I make my Tex-Mex chile, the variety that uses all meat chunks and carries a ton of heat. But I decided to try something a little different, so here’s my take on a meat and bean chile done low carb.

First, I added medium-hot chorizo in for a zap of spice and a different flavor, then mixed in ground beef. I chose black beans because they are a bit lower in carbohydrates than either pinto or red beans. The result is fabulous, tasty, and warming. Like many stews, soups, and curries, the longer the pot sits, the more flavorful it becomes. So if you want to make it a day ahead, you can cover it and put it in the ‘fridge for a day or so. Nonetheless, it is delicious on the first day.

Rene’s Beef and Chorizo Chile

1 Onion, diced
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 pound Chorizo Sausage
1 can diced Green Peppers
1 packet Taco Seasoning or 2 tablespoons Spicy Seasoning
1 15-oz can Stewed Tomatoes, chopped
1 15-oz can Tomatoes with Chiles
1 can Black Beans, with juice
1 cup Pumpkin puree

In a 10 to 12 cup heavy pot, heat a teaspoon oil and add onions and garlic. Stir and cook for about five minutes until the onions are sweating. Add ground beef and chorizo, breaking it up as you stir it around. Cook until the meat is lightly browned.

Add green peppers, seasoning, and both cans of tomatoes. Add about a half-cup to each tomato can and swish them around to get the rest of the juice in the can, then add to the chile pot. Stir it together, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for an hour.

Taste the sauce to check the seasoning and adjust it if you want it spicier. Add the black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir well and cook for another 30 to 40 minutes until the chile thickens.

Serve in bowls with cheddar jack or Mexican cheese and sour cream if you wish.

Makes 8 to 10 servings, about 1 cup each.

Tip: You can make an excellent chile cheese omelet with this chile. Just add 1 cup of warmed chile in the middle of the partially cooked omelet and top with cheese. Fold the omelet over or cook the top in a broiler until the cheese is melted.

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