I live in a small city where the only thing vaguely Mexican (and I think that is a generous description) is Taco Time. Really, tater tots are Mexican? Who knew…
I love anything Mexican inspired, chipotle, lime, cilantro, beans- I could eat that stuff every day! This recipe is one of my favourites. I always make it in this amount and freeze them before cooking. Then they become an easy supper for those nights when you’re busy, and it can be quite virtuous and still delicious if you leave out or don’t go too crazy with the cheese. Great served with a salad, coleslaw, or just on their own as a super simple supper.
You Will Need:
- 6 peppers, any colours you like
- 1lb lean ground beef
- 1 540ml can black beans (or the same amount of rehydrated black beans)
- 1 large onion (230g chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed (15g)
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce *
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt if using rehydrated beans
Cheddar cheese if desired
*I find these peppers can vary in hotness, and often vary in size in the can. Use less and then taste- you can always add more, but it’s hard to take it back if you’ve made things too spicy for your taste! See this Quick Tip for what to do with the rest of the can.
Brown beef and add chopped onion to pan when beef is almost cooked. While beef is cooking, cut peppers in half. Trim but do not remove stem, it will keep your pepper from splitting when they cook. Trim out seeds and white parts of pepper and lay them chopped side down to dry a bit while the beef and onion are cooking.
Finely chop cilantro, peppers in adobo sauce (start with one if you are hesitant about the heat) and garlic. Add to beef and onion once beef is fully cooked and onion is softened. Add the drained and rinsed black beans. Add 3/4 cup of water to pan. Add cumin and salt if using. Let simmer for about 10 min until water has evaporated. Taste and feel free to up the heat factor by adding more chipotle pepper.
If your peppers are going immediately into the oven, you can spoon in the filling while it is still hot and top with cheddar cheese. If you are feeling particularly decadent, you can put some cheese in the pepper BEFORE you put in the filling and then on top too. If they are going into the freezer, let the filling cool a bit before filling peppers and wrapping individually in tinfoil. If freezing immediately, add the cheese the day you heat them, otherwise I find you lose an annoying amount when you unwrap them from the tinfoil.
Top with cheddar cheese and pop in a 400F oven for 35-40 minutes or until pepper is tender and cheese is melted. If the tops are getting too crisp but the pepper is still firm, lightly cover with tinfoil and continue cooking.
If taking from the freezer, let them thaw overnight and bake at 400F for about 25-35 minutes until heated through.