Beef and Lentil Chili

Serves 8. | Prep: 15 min | Cook: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 cup French lentils (du Puy)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, finely diced
1 leek, rinsed, quartered and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
7 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 15oz can diced tomatoes (if you desire more heat, opt for fire-roasted)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
cilantro, chopped

scallions, sliced

cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions

Place lentils in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown ground beef and pancetta, stirring often and breaking down the ground meats until evenly crumbled and the pancetta is crisp. When browned, add the the onions, leeks and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Add cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, marjoram, and thyme. Stir in tomato paste. Add carrots and celery, cook for 1 minute. Add chicken stock, diced tomatoes, and drained lentils. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook slowly with the lid partially covering the lid, stirring and tasting periodically, adjusting seasonings as necessary, about 1 hour (or more). Stir in balsamic vinegar and some cilantro, if desired. When serving, garnish with more cilantro, green onions, cheddar cheese, etc.

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