Black Bean Chili with Sirloin and Asiago
The most elegant chili you’ll ever make. Cubes of sirloin are added just before the chili is finished so that they remain tender. Toasting the spices brings out the flavor.
- Dried Black Beans - 1 pound
- Ground Cumin - 1 tablespoon
- Cayenne - 1/2 teaspoon
- Paprika - 2 tablespoons
- Dried Oregano - 1 tablespoon
- Dried Pasilla Chili - 1 (ancho or New Mexican red can be substituted)
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Yellow Onion - 1, peeled and chopped
- Garlic Cloves - 4, peeled and minced
- Green Bell Pepper - 1, seeded, deribbed, and finely chopped
- Tomatoes - 4 large, cored and roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Jalapeno Chilies - 3, seeded, deribbed, and finely chopped
- Cilantro Leaves - 1/2 cup
- Grilled Sirloin Steak - 1 pound, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Asiago Cheese - 6 tablespoons, grated (alt. fontina )
Pour the beans into a colander and rinse under running water, sorting through them to remove any small stones. Either soak the beans in water to cover overnight, or bring them to a boil in water to cover, boil 2 minutes, and then turn off the heat, cover the pot, and allow them to soak for 1 hour. If using the latter method, the cooking should continue promptly.
Heat a dry skillet over medium heat and toast the cumin, cayenne, paprika, and oregano until they start to become fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn.
Grind the pasilla chili and bay leaf to a fine powder in a clean coffee or spice grinder or in a blender. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the onion, garlic, and green pepper over medium heat until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the toasted spices, ground spices, tomatoes, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and saute for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the vegetable mixture to the beans, along with water to cover by 4 inches. Cook on top of the stove, covered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Adjust seasoning, and add the chopped cilantro and the jalapenos, along with cubes of sirloin, and simmer for 10 minutes.
To serve: Ladle into bowls and top each with a sprinkling of cheese.