Black Bean Chili

This recipe originally ran as a part of our Traverse Magazine story, the "Perfect Winter Picnic," in which Elk Rapids Wine Shop owner Rob Crandell gave us his favorite outdoor recipes. Of course, this fabulous recipe can easily be made at home as well.


  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, venison
 or buffalo
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili peppers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeños chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon bay powder
  • 3 28-ounce cans of tomatoes (process 1 can in food processor)
  • 2 28-ounce cans black beans (rinsed and drained)


Sauté onion, garlic and chilies in olive oil for 5 minutes. Crumble beef over vegetables and season with salt & pepper. Stir in all spices and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in black beans and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Bring in a pre-warmed Thermos or heat over a camp stove or portable grill. Bonus points: grill fresh bratwurst, serve in a bun and top with the chili for super chili dogs.