Chipotle chili

This is a warm, often spicy, chili recipe. Black beans only. Smoky chipotle chilis and toasted cumin. Poblano peppers.


  • 2 big onions, diced (usually red, not that important)
  • 4 biggish cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3-6 rehydrated morita chipotle peppers, chopped (adjust based on spice preference. Rehydration usually takes ~24 hours, but is more reliable if you put a cut into the bottom of the pepper so the water can get inside faster). Save the water/juice for later
  • 4/5 poblano peppers or 3/4 green bell peppers cut into ~1”x2” strips
  • 1 “standard” package of ground beef (I usually get 500g packages, but I can’t remember what size the standard US package is, but I just use one of those)
  • 4 cans of black beans, drain juice away from 1.5 of them
  • 3 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 Tbsp wholeseed cumin, toasted and ground
  • 4 tsp of salt


  • lime wedges
  • avocado
  • sharp jack or cheddar cheese


Toast the cumin in a frying pan (no oil) for 2-3 minutes, until you smell the fragrance. Let it cool for a minute, then grind up into a fine powder.

Put the onions, garlic, cumin, and chipotle peppers (saving the juice for later) into a big pot, with just enough oil that they won’t scorch. Start this on medium-low heat. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt.

Add the poblanos/bellpeppers in as soon as they’re ready and 1 more teaspoon of salt (2 total so far), and cook until the peppers are starting to sweat just a little and the onions are starting to turn yellow/brown.

Add in the ground beef to brown–don’t cook it through. Add a third teaspoon of salt.

Once the beef is browned, add back in the chipotle juice, and then all the canned tomatoes and beans. Add a 4th teaspoon of salt.

Bring to a simmer, and adjust temperature to keep it at a low simmer for 2-4 hours. The longer you go, the better.

You can take the lid off the pot to reduce the chili to be thicker, or keep the lid on for more liquid chili. I usually reduce it down until the tide mark on the side of the pot is ~1” lower than when I started, then put the lid on for the rest of the cook time.

This recipe is salt-conservative, so have some to hand on the table. Serve each bowl with a quarter-wedge of lime.

It’s also great with avocado chunks in the bowl, and sharp cheddar or jack cheese.