Smoky Beef Chili with Black Beans and Corn - Planning for the Game!

Game day is around the corner!  That means that it is time to break out the recipe collection and find a good chili recipe.  As I comb through the cookbooks and the "pile" of recipes, I realize that I am easily distracted when it comes to cookbooks and "the recipe collection".  My mind meanders when I see a great dish and I think of when it could be part of the perfect meal.  I get myself bogged down in the appetizers and think about having a wine and appy evening.

As I plan my imaginary get together, I remember the focus...chili!  Searching for a recipe is kind of like is easy to go down a rabbit hole and totally lose sight of the focus!  But, I found it. I found a recipe that sounded delicious and would make enough for a small army:  Smoky Beef Chili with Black Beans and Corn.  There were lots of ideas for little bowls of tasty add-ons...avocado, diced fresh tomatoes, chopped purple onion, lime wedges, sliced scallions, minced cilantro, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese.  With all of those choices it was certain to be good.

The recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen and is said to be foolproof so I took it on a test drive.
We thought the chili was great. It was smoky but not spicy hot....I might increase the chipotle by two tablespoons the next time as we like it to have a bit of a snap....but, that could easily be accomplished with a bottle of chile sauce on the side.  I would definitely recommend including the lime wedges. The juice gave a nice twang to the dish.  A pan of cornbread accompanied the meal.  It was an all around comforting meal on this particular cold day.

Smoky Beef Chili 
Black Beans and Corn

Yield:  12-16 servings

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1-2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup chili powder
2 Tbsp minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (Add 1-2 Tbsp additional at the last step if you want it spicy.)
2 Tbsp ground cumin
4 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
4 pounds ground beef (85% lean)
2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (28-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 (28-oz.) cans tomato puree
4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

Selected garnishes on the side such as avocado, diced fresh tomatoes, chopped purple onion, lime wedges, sliced scallions, minced cilantro, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese.


Heat the oil in a large (12 quart) pot over medium heat.  When shimmering, add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, chili powder, chipotle, cumin, coriander, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 15 minutes.  Stir the mixture often.

Increase the heat to high and stir in the ground beef, one pound at a time.  Cook while breaking up the chunks with a large wooden spoon.  Cook until it is no longer pink.  This should take about 3-4 minutes per pound.

Stir in the beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato puree.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for one hour.  Stir the mixture occasionally.

Uncover and simmer about 1 1/2 hours, until the beef is tender and the chili is dark and slightly thickened.

Note:  Stop at this point if you are making the chili in advance.  The chili may be refrigerated for up to two days.  Reheat gently, about 50 to 60 minutes, over medium-low heat, stirring often. Add water, as may be needed, to adjust the consistency.  Then proceed with the recipe.

Stir in the corn.   Simmer the mixture until heated through, about 3-4 minutes.  Taste and add 1-2 Tbsp additional minced chipotle at this point, if you want it spicy. Season with salt to taste.

Serve with selected garnishes.


Since this recipe can be made two days in advance and finished up the day of the game, it is a snap!

I am linking to Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage!


  1. Kate, Great game day food! With the onset of real winter here in East Tennessee, (first snow today), its time for some warming comfort food. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  2. We love a great chili, Kate and I love the recipes from America's Test Kitchen. Thanks for the tip about adding extra chipotle . . . that would really amp up the flavor. It's so cold here on the East coast the last couple of days (and more to come); this sounds perfect!!!

  3. As a lover of southwestern flavors I know I would be all over this.

  4. America's Test Kitchen recipes are always a winner. This looks fantastic!

  5. Hi Kate,
    Your Chili looks amazing!  Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon!
    Miz Helen

  6. This is calling my name. It's just what a cold, blustery day calls for. Visiting from Foodie Friday.

  7. Sounds delicious. Perfect for a Bronco Win! :)


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