I love good chili!! But I find a lot of chili out there to be sort of “one note” in flavor. I like my chili to be interesting, rich and complex! In one of my numerous attempts to create a truly great chili, I stayed up late one night and played with some variations on some of my old standbys. I think this one comes a little closer to hitting the mark that I was shooting for. There are layers flavors in this one so nothing is predictable except that the layers of flavor slowly reveal themselves in every bite. This chili is “scratch-made”; no boxes, no mixes and no packets! The heat level is up to you. The recipe has a little sweetness to it and a bit of a back-heat without being too spicy that I think is nice. I will warn you though, it does take extra prep time but plan ahead and have some fun with it!! I think the result is truly worth it!
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. of Cubed beef (I prefer boneless beef short ribs for the best combination of fat and flavor). Try not to take short cuts anywhere in the recipe BUT if you are going to cut a corner or two DON’T DO IT HERE!!
1/2 Cup Homemade Chili Powder (recipe follows & can be made ahead)
2-1/2 to 3 Cups Homemade Chili Sauce (recipe follows & can be made ahead)
1 Large Onion Diced
8 Garlic Cloves (peeled and thinly sliced)
1-3 Canned Chipotle Chili in Adobo Sauce. These are for smoke and heat. Use 1 for a little heat and 3 for a lot.
1-2 Jalapeno Peppers seeded and finely chopped
1/2 – 28 oz. Can of Tomatoes Puree
1 Bottle Beer (your favorite Lager) (No fancy microbrews or low carb or light beer here. Use a straight ahead lager like Budweiser or Miller or Corona)
1 large Can Beef Broth (Low Sodium)
2 – Jarred Prunes pitted and chopped
2 Tbsp.. Bittersweet Chocolate fresh grated (No Powder)
2 Cans (14.5 oz.. cans) of Red Kidney Beans (No juice, just beans)
1-2 Tbsps.. of Corn Flower (Masa Harina) to help thicken the chili when done. (you probably will not need this but if you want to or need to thicken the chili, make a slurry with the masa and a little water and pour it slowly into the chili while slowly boiling and it will thicken it up.)
Homemade Chili Powder
Seed, Stem and hand tear 3 Ancho Chilis (dried Poblanos) and 2 Guajillo Chilis (dried new Mexican Red Chilis) Toast in a a “dry” medium hot pan until fragrant.
2 Tbsn Coriander seeds
2 Tbsps. Smoked Paprika (use regular sweet paprika if you can’t find smoked)
2 Tbsps. Regular Chili Powder (New Mexico Chili Powder works best if you can find it) DO NOT USE, Chipotle Powder or Cayenne Powder
1 Tbsn Ground Cumin
1 Tbsn Dried Oregano
2 Tbsps. Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
Add all ingredients (except the salt) to a “blender” and pulverize into a fine powder. Remove to a bowl and mix in the salt. Reserve for use in making the chili. This should make around 3/4 cup depending on the size of your dried chili’s. If you are a little short for your chili recipe, just add a bit of regular Chili Powder to make up the difference.
NOTE: This Chili powder is pretty pungent stuff so err on the side of adding about 1/2 cup at first. Depending on the freshness of your ingredients and the strength of your dried chili’s you don’t want to over do it. You can always add more to your chili but you cannot take out. So be careful.
Homemade Chili Sauce:
4 Large Dried Ancho Chili (Dried Poblano Chilis)
4 Large Dried Guajillo Chili (Dried “Red” New Mexico Chilis)
3 Cups Chick Stock or Broth (low Sodium)
1/2 White Onion, Diced
3 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled and Sliced thin or minced
Seed, Stem and hand tear the chilis and place in a pot with the 3 cups of chicken stock, the onions and garlic. Bring all of it to a boil, turn down and simmer for 15 minutes until chilis, onions and garlic are soft. let cool slightly. Pour all the contents of the pot into a blender and blend on low to medium until broken down and then on high for a moment until smooth. Reserve in a glass bowl cover and refrigerate until ready for use in the recipe.
Salt and Pepper the Cubed beef and brown in a large pot of Dutch oven with 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil over high heat. Do not crowd the meat so it will brown. You may have to brown the meat in batches unless you have a huge pot. When the meat is well browned add; the Onion, Jalapeno, Sliced Garlic and the Chipotle Peppers to the pot. Sauté for a few minutes until just soft. Add your homemade chili powder (1/2 – 3/4 cup. (see note above). Sauté for a few minutes while mixing and stirring to completely coat the meat (do not let this burn). Add the beer and cook until the foam subsides. Add the tomato puree and the beef broth. If the beer, broth and tomato sauce does not cover the meat add more broth. The meat needs to be covered with liquid.
Simmer covered under LOW heat (just bubbling) for 2-3 hours until meat is fall apart tender. Add the beans (juice and all), stir to combine and bring back up to the slow simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes to take the edge off the beans.
If necessary to thicken, make a slurry with the corn Flower with a little water and stir into the chili while it is bubbling and stir slowly to combine and thicken. It must be just boiling to thicken up so keep the heat on.
To serve, ladle chili on bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings: Cheese, Sour Cream, Raw or Pickled Onions, Cilantro, Lime Wedges or serve with Corn Bread.
Enjoy!! By the way, it get’s better overnight so if you need to make it a day ahead and reheat.