I hadn’t planned a meal, and I didn’t want to go out to dinner. I had just enough energy and interest to throw some contents of the fridge and a few from the cupboard into a skillet and call it a meal. I’d use the small container of beef stewing meat I’d thawed several days earlier for another dish. Since that dish didn’t happen, it was going to be repurposed into a Mexican dish ala one of our favorite shows, “Chopped”.
I started by dicing up an onion and sautéing it in a drizzle of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
I added about 1/2 teaspoon salt to draw out the water and season the onion. I like to season each ingredient as I cook.
When the onion was beginning to brown around the edges I added the beef. I let the beef sauté for several minutes, until it was nice and browned in places. I added cumin, chili powder, oregano, garlic powder and salt to the skillet and stirred well. I let the meat cook a few more minutes to allow the spices to toast in the meat juice in the skillet.
I added a can of diced tomatoes and stirred well. I realized I was making a version of chili using the beef stewing meat instead of my usual ground beef or turkey.
Next I added a can of black beans. I knew I’d be letting the chili simmer for a couple of hours and risked the beans falling apart but that’s ok with me. The flavor would still be there.
I added a handful of sweet bell pepper. I had a small purple bell pepper and a bunch of chopped and frozen red bell pepper. I used them both to equal about one whole bell pepper.
Finally I added a can of green chilies. As I stirred the contents of the skillet the kitchen filled with a wonderful smell.
I let the mixture come to a bubble then turned the heat down to medium low. I covered the skillet with a round wire mesh lid to prevent it from bubbling all over the stove and floor.
After an hour of gently bubbling away I taste tested it and added a touch more salt and stirred well. The meat was still tough and I let it simmer another hour.
I’d diced up my zucchini and added it to the skillet and let it cook with the rest of the ingredients for another 40 minutes. I didn’t want it all mushy, I just wanted it heated through and fork tender.
I had leftover long grain rice so I heated it in the microwave and served my Mexican Chopped dish over rice. I topped the bowls with a handful of diced garden tomatoes and green onions. Done!
My P.S. judged it “good”. I wasn’t chopped. I liked it myself and decided I could have used a little more heat in it. Maybe a jalapeno. I had some in my fridge so I was bummed I hadn’t thought to add one to my Mexican chili mixture. You could play with this recipe and modify it to your own taste.
I want to note my beans and peppers disintegrated in the long cooking time so if you’d like them more whole, add them the last hour or so.
A one pot chili type dish made with stewing beef and black beans.
- 1 onion; chopped into larger pieces (about 3/4 cup)
- drizzle of canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb stewing meat; cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 15 oz can black beans
- 1 sweet bell pepper; diced (I used a small purple one and a handful of red I’d diced and frozen)
- 1 small can diced green chilies
- 1/2 cup water if necessary (I added it twice since my cover was only a mesh strainer)
- 2 cups zucchini with skin left on; cut into 1″ pieces
- Cooked rice (I had leftover long grain white rice)
- Diced tomatoes and green onions for garnish (optional)
In a large nonstick skillet heat a drizzle of oil and sauté the onions with a sprinkling of salt until they begin to brown around the edges.
Add beef and fry until browned, stirring often. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook for another minute or two, stirring constantly. We want the seasonings to toast and bloom a bit with the meat.
Add diced tomatoes, black beans, peppers and green chilies. Stir well, reduce heat to medium low and cover skillet. Simmer for one hour.
Stir well and add 1/2 cup water if contents are getting a bit dry. Cover and simmer another hour.
Again stir and add water if necessary. Stir in Zucchini and taste test for seasoning, adding more salt or heat as desired. Adding a jalapeno at this stage would be good if you like spicier foods. Cover and simmer 30 more minutes.
Serve over hot rice garnished with diced tomatoes and green onions.