Cowboy Beef & Bean Chili


The Cook: 

Tammy Taylor, Taylor-Made Ranch
Taylor-Made Ranch was established in 2000 by Stacy and Tammy Taylor in beautiful Wolfe City, Texas. They raise registered Herefords and pure F1 baldies or commercial breeders through private treaty.

The Recipe

Cowboy Beef & Bean Chili
Our favorite cold-weather recipe here at Taylor-Made Ranch is Cowboy Beef & Bean Chili. It’s made with beef, black beans and dark beer. I usually pair it with jalapeno beer bread for a warming & stick-to-your ribs winter meal!

My husband Stacy is the king of the grill but I enjoy puttering in the kitchen. My Cowboy Chili recipe is our compromise on the age-old beans vs. no beans argument. I like the beans, and e likes dark beer, so to appease his chili-purist ‘No Beans’ mindset I created this recipe that includes both black beans and dark beer so we’re both happy.

The Ingredients

2 lbs. lean ground beef (95% lean)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1-½ cups chopped onion
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 medium yellow bell peppers, chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed
1⁄8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1⁄2 oz.) chili-seasoned or zesty-style
diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 to 14-1⁄2 oz.) beef broth
12 oz. dark beer
1⁄3 cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp. honey
2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, rinsed, drained chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

The Preparation

• Brown ground beef in stockpot over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles.
• Remove from stockpot with slotted spoon. Set aside. Pour off drippings.
• Heat oil in same stockpot over medium heat until hot. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until onions are tender.
• Add bell peppers and jalapeño; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until peppers are tender.
• Return beef crumbles to stockpot. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme and cayenne pepper; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes.
• Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, broth, beer, tomato paste and honey; bring to a boil.
• Reduce heat; cover and simmer 45 minutes. Uncover stockpot; continue simmering 30 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
• Stir in beans; cook 5 to 10 minutes or until beans are heated through.
• Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Ask the Cook

What’s your food philosophy?
I try to cook with as many fresh ingredients as possible. Although I occasionally use a can of soup or box of instant pudding when a recipe calls for it – more than likely you’ll find me learning to make that ingredient myself instead. For this recipe, the black beans are typically cooked earlier from dry beans and the crushed tomatoes & veggies are primarily from my garden. Even the dark beer used is home-brewed by my husband Stacy!

Any advice for the readers?
With only two of us at the ranch most nights, I use the “cook once, eat twice” method of cooking: Serve half the recipe hot and put the other half in your freezer. On those days where you’re too busy to cook, a healthy home-made meal is as close as your own freezer.

Cooking Confession:
Although I typically strive to use base ingredients in my cooking, I make the best and most requested soft cookies using a recipe that has a boxed cake mix in the list of ingredients! It’s so quick that I can whip these cookies up on a Sunday morning in enough time to bring them hot out of the oven for a church luncheon after the Sunday service.

If you have a recipe you’d like to share in a Dinner Bell column, give WR a call at 702-566-1456 or send an email to dinnerbell@workingranchmag.com.

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