Beef & Two Bean Chili {+ Red Gold Family Farm Tour Recap}

Beef & Two Bean Chili {+ Red Gold Family Farm Tour Recap}

Cook a pot of this comforting and hearty beef and two bean chili in just 30 minutes! 
It's a perfect weeknight meal that the whole family will love.
Beef & Two Bean Chili | The Chef Next Door

A few weeks ago I had a wonderful opportunity to go on a Family Farm Tour with Red Gold Tomatoes in Indiana. Between visiting their headquarters, a tomato farm, and two of their processing plants, it was an exciting and busy few days! I learned so much about tomatoes, the Red Gold company, and the family that started it in 1942, and who continues to run the company today. They are amazing people and are truly passionate about their mission: "To Produce the Freshest, Best Tasting, Tomato Products in the World.”

Our first adventure of the trip was to visit Triple "S" Farms. They were harvesting tomatoes that day, so we were able to sneak a peek of how everything works! Back in the day they used to pick the tomatoes by hand, but now everything is done by a machine. You can see in the picture below they use a tractor with large "claws" that dig up the tomato plant and feed it onto a conveyor belt.  The tractor shakes the vines to remove the dirt, then sends the tomatoes out of a chute at the top of truck, into another truck that is driving along side the tractor.  It was such an interesting process! 

Beef & Two Bean Chili {+ Red Gold Family Farm Tour Recap} | The Chef Next Door

Once the tomatoes are harvested the truck heads to the processing plant.  This happens quickly so that the tomatoes are at their freshest peak when they reach the plant. We started our second day by heading to the Orestes Facility, where we would watch the entire process of the tomato, from the truck to the can. It's amazing to me that the tomatoes can be in the field one day, and the very next day they are being canned and packaged!

The trucks empty the tomatoes into large bins, then they go through the washing process before making their way into the facility.  Once in the plant, the tomatoes get peeled, then workers hand remove any damaged tomatoes before moving on in the process.  During the canning process, Red Gold tomatoes are washed 7 times, rinsed 18 times, hand sorted 11 times, and mechanically color/size sorted 6 times. That is amazing work!

Beef & Two Bean Chili {+ Red Gold Family Farm Tour Recap} | The Chef Next Door

We had a tomato tasting at Red Gold Headquarters that was quite eye opening! I didn't realize how different canned tomatoes taste, but believe me when I say there was quite a difference in brands, and I quickly found my favorite. {Why yes, it was Red Gold!} Red Gold products are all natural, are certified kosher, and contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Now do you see why I love them so much?

Beef & Two Bean Chili {+ Red Gold Family Farm Tour Recap} | The Chef Next Door

During the trip I ate A LOT of good food, learned so much, and of course had wonderful conversations with fellow bloggers and the Red Gold family. We even attended Luke Bryan's Farm Tour Concert, which was sponsored by Red Gold! 

I was so inspired after my trip that I came home and immediately went to the store to pick up some Red Gold Tomatoes so I could start cooking. I couldn't wait to start developing recipes with these delicious products! I made a pan of the most decadent Smoky Beef Enchiladas (recipe coming soon!), and also this Beef & Two Bean Chili. Let's face it, Fall is all about comfort food, and chili is definitely comforting! Whether you're hosting a get together for the big game, or just cooking for your family, this chili is warm and hearty, and also simple to make.

So, now that I've told you all about my wonderful experience, let's get in the kitchen and make some chili!

Beef & Two Bean Chili
Author: Sarah Bates | The Chef Next Door
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 - 14.5 oz. cans Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 - 15 oz. can light red kidney beans, undrained
1 - 15 oz. can pinto beans, undrained
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Optional toppings: shredded cheddar jack cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, crackers

Add the ground beef and onion to a Dutch oven or large pot and cook over medium-high heat until the beef is browned. Drain off any grease, then return the beef to the pot.

Add the remaining ingredients, other than the toppings, to the pot and stir well to combine. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the chili to cook for 15 minutes. 

Ladle the chili into bowls and add toppings as desired. {Mini cornbread muffins are great served alongside the chili!}

Bon App├ętit! 
Beef & Two Bean Chili | The Chef Next Door
Disclaimer: I attended the Family Farm Tour courtesy of Red Gold, however, I received no additional compensation.  All opinions, as always, are my own.