The Farmstead Kitchen – Highland Beef Black Bean Chili


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Spring is right around the corner, right? We are getting SO excited to raise our first Highland Cattle this year, and thank you to those who have already reserved your Share!

***PLEASE contact us before signing up as we are ALMOST SOLD OUT ON BEEF***  You can see the status of all our available Meat Shares by clicking here.

In the Farmstead Kitchen, we’re enjoying some gorgeous highland beef this winter from a young bull our dear friend raised, Angelica the legendary “fermentress” of Angelica’s Garden. If you haven’t bought some of her fantastic Kim Chi yet, this fall’s batch is just phenomenal! It’s sold at all the co-ops in the cooler section, and it goes perfectly served atop a bowl of this chili! Angelica has the butcher come to her field to do the animal harvest peacefully on-farm, which is the only kind of meat we choose to eat.

Highland beef will absolutely shock you in it’s difference- the flavor is autumnal and woodsy, and there is no greasy fat to drain off. Whether it’s to stretch your dollar or to reduce the amount of meat per serving, combining meat with beans is an old trick which also adds nutrients and fiber to your diet. Black beans in particular are high in phytonutrients. A bowl of Highland Beef Black Bean Chili is an absolutely perfect meal in the winter, it’s nutritious richness and velvety texture warms you to the core.

DSC02153Here is the Kitchen in our Farmer Barn- before we settled in. Isn’t it lovely? We have a very simple open floor plan so we can easily flow around the most important part of the home- the KITCHEN!

If you’ve looked at our other Farmstead Kitchen recipes, you’ll note we are not precise-recipe people. We don’t really measure, and hope that’s ok with you. So here we go-  Chop up an onion and in a large cast iron pan, sautee the onion with some lard or oil, a couple tablespoons worth. Add 1 lb of ground highland beef and break it up to fry with the onion, but don’t fry as long as you would with regular beef, just til it is cooked through. Right as it’s almost through cooking, sprinkle on about 2 tablespoons of chili powder, a teaspoon of ground cumin, a Tablespoon of salt and about a 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper, then toss the mix about so the spices get a bit of warming in the pan which increases their fragrant powers. You won’t have any grease to drain off like in other ground beef recipes.

DSC02238DSC02245 DSC02239 DSC02240 DSC02241 DSC02243When it’s ready, add the spiced beef and onion mix to a large heavy bottomed soup pot with about 4 cups of cooked black beans, along with 5 cups of bone broth (plus the healthy fat that rests on the top of the gelatinous broth which you can see in the photo.) You can use any kind of bone broth- here’s how to make it. To the pot also add several cloves of chopped garlic, a hearty sprinkle of ground chipotle powder (available in the bulk spices section at the co-ops) and 2 quarts of pureed canned tomatoes. I also added 1 chopped leek. In the fry pan you will have a bit of delicious residue which you can collect by adding some beer or other liquid to the emptied but still warm pan, stir and let the beer loosen the bits, then add to your chili pot. DELICIOUSNESS. DSC02246Let it all simmer on medium low for at least 30 minutes, or longer on low. Salt to taste. This recipe is yet another demonstration of how super high quality ingredients do not need much flavor assistance or work to make an astoundingly awesome and nutritious meal. Life is short, eat ethically produced and delicious food! Sadly, I do not have a finished product to show you. We ate it all up before I even remembered to take a photo.

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