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I made this yesterday, 9/23/12 and did some tweaking of my own, because of what I had on hand and our taste.
I had 3lbs chuck stew meat already cut up from the meat market so I doubled the recipe. (Trust me when I say, do NOT double the amount of beans especially if you soak them over night.:) There's another black bean recipe review going up after this one!)
I used onion powder, no red onion; I used 2 15oz cans no salt added tomato sauce; 2 lg Tbls minced garlic in olive oil; 7oz can diced green chilies; 4 Tbls chili powder; 3 Tbls cumin (we love it); 2 tsp dried Mexican oregano. It's completely different than standard dried oregano. I added a very healthy amount of fresh ground black pepper and 2-3 good shakes of the cayenne bottle. We enjoy heat. I didn't salt it because we really try to cut way back, hence the heaping on of other spices, but I goofed and not paying attention, I bought the regular version of beef broth vs lower or no sodium. I used about 3 cups of the broth and 4 cups water, since I was doubling the recipe. I browned the meat in about 2 Tbls olive oil on about 2-3 sides of each cube with a bit of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Tossed it and the rest of the ingredients into a 6qt crock pot and set it on high for approx 6 hours,only because I forgot about it. It then cooked for about another 3 hours on low and my oh my! I'm so glad I cooked it that long on high, because it made the meat ultra tender, the beans were perfectly cooked without being mushy and the flavor is robust! Even without creaming or blending some of the beans for a thicker broth, the 'gravy' of this chili is nice and thickened without being dry. I added a bit of chicken broth when I heated up a bowl of leftovers, thinking it looked thick and it didn't need it. Once heated it was just as if not better tasting than yesterday. My husband and I had it last night for dinner over some steamed brown rice, and today, I skillet fried some whole kernel corn, drained from a can, (no salt added) in 1 Tbls of butter and browned it nicely and added a few tablespoons of corn to a bowl of the beans. This chili was awesome alone, with the rice or the corn. I know I tweaked it alot, but your recipe was the perfect base for what I wanted to eat. Thank you so much for posting.