m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Beef and Bean Chili

I cut this recipe roughly in half with my cupboard in mind.


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 c.)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 jalapeƱo peppers or scotch bonnets, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ c. water, optional
  • 1 15-16 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 T. chopped fresh cilantro (or 2 tsp. dried coriander, or 1 tsp. ground coriander)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups corn chips

Mole extras

  • ½ ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4–6 dried anchos, stemmed, seeded, rinsed, and toasted (omit previous peppers)
  • 2 T. sesame seeds, toasted
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. clove
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • dash nutmeg
  • dash oregano (preferably mexican)
  • dash thyme
  • dash pepper
  • a scant quarter cup of nuts, toasted and ground (preferably almonds, optional)
  • 2 T. raisins (optional)


  1. In a Dutch oven brown beef over medium heat; drain off fat.
  2. Add onions, garlic, and peppers to pan; cook about 5 minutes or until almost tender.
  3. Add the chili powder and cumin; cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  4. Add tomato sauce and water; bring to boiling.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  6. Mash one-third of the beans.
  7. Stir all beans into chili. Return to simmering; cook about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Stir in the chopped cilantro, chocolate and salt until chocolate is melted.
  10. Serve topped with corn chips.


The first time, I waffled on the water and ended up leaving it out. I used pinto beans, stewed tomatoes, and a mix of hot peppers I had around the house (2 hot peppers, 2 pepperoncini and one dried chili piquin). I also added a dash of Morrocan spice mix. I tossed in the salt when it was convenient; there’s no reason to delay it for canned beans. I made corn bread (this time with all white flour) to replace the corn chips.

If you don’t have whole beans, you can use refried beans instead. You may not want to push it to a whole can, though.

One time I followed the recipe more closely, but used a Scotch Bonnet and cut back on the chili powder to compensate for the unknown heat. It came out fine, and possibly not hot enough. Still no corn chips, though.

For mole style without actual mole paste, I took out the existing chili peppers and added the mole extras listed above.