I gave up canned foods sometime awhile back. I told myself it was the healthier thing to do, but in reality I think I really just had a need to control every aspect of the food I serve my friends and family. Sure, dried beans don’t have the bpa lining some of their canned cousins have and quitting pre-made soup probably slashed my sodium intake, but not using goods from a can also meant I could take full credit for my recipes. Oh, the beans in that chili are so tender and flavorful? Thank you, I soaked them myself. Gag.
Last week when I opened the cupboard I noticed two new cans of cream of mushroom soup. My husband must have felt my indignation from the other room because within seconds he popped around the corner and started his defense. ‘I’m making stew this weekend and I just really like it when it’s made with canned soup. Sorry.’
‘But I can do so much better than canned soup!’ Was my reply. ‘With real cream! And butter!’ But he was right, his creamy venison stew came out pretty darn good.
I relented with this chili recipe and used a can of enchilada sauce that had been hiding in our cupboard for some time and was about to expire. And not some fancy, organic enchilada sauce with ethically sourced spices, just your run-of-the-mill mild enchilada sauce in that bright yellow can. Sure, I could have made some. There are plenty of recipes out there and maybe someday I’ll craft my own. But not today. Today I’m relying on professionals who have spent years making tasty, crowd-pleasing enchilada sauce for my chili.
This is a pretty easy recipe that would be perfect for game day. Peppers and onions sauté before the meat gets added and browned. Tomato paste and enchilada sauce act as the base then a can (gasp!) of black beans gets added. And yes, canned beans. The liquid from the can adds a nice starchy texture to the dish. I also add a can of dice tomatoes, another item that had been hiding since I stopped using canned goods. The whole pot simmers for an hour or two. I served mine with a couple slices of avocado on top, but corn chips and sour cream would be a perfect addition.
Black Bean Enchilada Chili
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Medium Bell Peppers (I used an orange and a red)
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 lb Ground Venison or Beef
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 10 Oz. Can Enchilada Sauce
- 1 15 Oz. Can Black Beans, with the liquid
- 1 15 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 2 Tbsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
- Diced Onion
- Sliced Jalapeño
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. While the oil is heating up chop the peppers and onion and add them to the oil. Cook for about 5 minutes until soft and slightly translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the venison or beef and cook until browned, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Let the chili simmer anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors will meld together. Top with avocado, onion, cheddar, or sliced jalapeño, serve, and enjoy!