1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 heaping tablespoon taco seasoning*
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1½ cups salsa
½ cup water
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1¾ cups milk
1 cup shredded cheese
fresh cilantro and/or green onions
In a large skillet, brown the sausage until golden brown and crumbled into small pieces. Drain off excess oil. Add the taco seasoning, cayenne, black beans, salsa, and water if it seems like it needs a little more liquid (this will depend on what kind of salsa you use). The consistency should be like a very thick chili.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir to form a paste. Slowly stream the milk in a little bit at a time, whisking a little bit after each addition. The sauce should thicken up gradually – continue to whisk in the liquid in small amounts and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to stick to the back of the spoon. Stir in the cheese until melted. Add the cheese sauce to the chili in the skillet from step one. Mix until well combined – stir in cilantro or green onions to taste.
Transfer to a mini slow cooker (perfect for parties!) or a serving dish. Or just keep it on the stove so it stays warm. This can also be made a day or two in advance – the flavors just keep on getting better.
*I used a taco seasoning from a local spice shop (Penzey’s) and I’ve also used this taco spice mix in the past and loved it as well! Nothing funky – just good spicy taco flavor.
I also used a fresh store-bought salsa (Sabra brand) and it was really good – I think it would be fine with jarred salsa, but if you can get fresh, go for it!