Chili

Chili

  • 3-4 pounds chuck roast
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 poblano chiles and/or green bell peppers
  • 6 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (12-ounce) can lager-style beer
  • ¼ cup tequila
  • 3-6 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 2 cans (14 oz) beef stock
  • 4 to 6 Tbsp masa harina (optional)

The hottest version is with 5 poblano peppers and 6 chipotle chiles. I like it with 5 poblano peppers and 3 chipotle chiles—it’s still definitely spicy but not overwhelming. To reduce the heat further, substitute bell peppers for the poblano chiles. For each poblano chile omitted, add one bell pepper so the total count remains at 5.

Prepare the poblanos or green bell peppers by roasting over an open flame or under a broiler until the skin is blackened, turning the peppers to char the entire skin. Leave the peppers in a paper bag to cool while you prepare the rest of the vegetables. After preparing the other vegetables, peel off the charred skin of the peppers, remove stem and seeds, and dice.

In one bowl combine the onion, garlic, chiles, bell peppers, and chili powder, In a second bowl (small), combine the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, place the tomatoes. In a fourth, dice the chipotles, add the adobo sauce they were in, and add the tequila.

After finishing the prep on all the other ingredients, trim off all the fat and gristle from the chuck roast (save the fat), and dice the chuck roast into small cubes (less than ¼ inch on the side) or grind coarsely. Then, in a broad pan (a chicken fryer works great), place the fat from the chuck roast and heat over medium heat until some of the fat is rendered. Discard the pieces but leave the rendered oil in the pan. Add the beef and sauté over high heat until the pieces are seared on each side and any liquid is gone. There should be dark brown crusty pieces on the meat. Add the bowl containing the onion mixture, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the onions are soft and just barely browning, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cumin mixture, and cook about 30 seconds, until the spices are fragrant. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat for 1 minute, until the tomatoes have softened. Add the beer and the tequila mixture, and deglaze the pan. If your pan is getting full, transfer the mixture to a dutch oven for the rest of the cooking time.

Add the cans of beef stock, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes too thick, add water to thin.

Taste for salt, then, if you want it thicker, turn the heat up to a slow boil, add 4 Tbsp masa harina and stir to combine. More masa can be added if needed.

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