There are so many ways to make chili. My friends and I sometimes like to have a chili cook-off and bring different varieties to share. It’s hard to pick a winner… they are all good.
This is a fairly traditional red chili with a few twists to enhance the flavor. You can also make this in a crock-pot if you want to start it and leave it for the day. The longer the beef slow cooks, the more tender it gets so you won’t have to shred the meat if you cook it in a slow-cooker.
Killer Beef Red Chili – The Recipe
- 3 dried ancho peppers, stemmed and seeded
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons whole coriander
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 or 3 beef marrow bones to flavor stock
- 3.5 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 canned chipotle chile, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, hand crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons masa harina (possibly more to thicken)
- 1/2 tablet Mexican chocolate (about 1 1/2 ounces)
- Grated queso fresco, for garnish
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Lime wedges, for garnish
(or swirl the adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilis into sour cream for garnish)
CRITICAL STEP: In a small dry skillet over low heat add the ancho peppers, oregano, paprika, coriander, cumin, and chili powder. Cook until they begin to smell, about 2 minutes. Put the spices into a spice mill or food processor and grind until they are powdered. Set aside. You’ll love warming spices – really brings out the flavors…
Heat a large heavy bottomed casserole or Dutch Oven over medium heat; add 3 tablespoons olive oil and the onions. Cook until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Pat the beef dry and season it with salt and pepper. Add it to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until it has browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the toasted spice mix, the garlic, chipotle, jalapeno, tomatoes, cinnamon stick, and sugar. Season with salt and stir well. Add beef marrow bones….Add some hot water until the meat is just covered with liquid. Return to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours (or a little longer if beef doesn’t seem tender.) Remove the meat and shred it with a fork. Return it to the pot, stir in the masa harina and chocolate, and cook for another 10 minutes, uncovered, to thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove marrow bones.
Serve with the queso fresco or shredded cheddar, cilantro, and lime for garnish.
Oh… and lots of beer!!