Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chili with chipotles

A really top-notch batch of homemade chili involves roasting, soaking and blending of the chilies, which can be time consuming. Today I wanted to try a dry blend. I used anchos, chipotles and chile de arbol, among other things. In the past I have removed the seeds from the dried chilies, resulting in a flavorful but mellow final product. This time, not only did I include chipotle and arbol, but I left in the seeds. The result was chili with a nice blend of flavoes and a bit of a kick.

The Spice Blend:
1oz anchos
2/3 oz dried chipotles
1/3 oz chile de arbol
3/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp beef bouillon

The Rest:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
4 cups water
1 15 oz. can tomatoes
2 15 oz cans pinto beans, drained

For the spice blend, remove stems from chilies and grind as finely as possible in a spice grinder. Add the rest of the ingredients a little at a time, and grind as finely as possible. Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed pot, sauté onion and garlic in oil until onion is soft. Add meat and brown, breaking it up into chunks as it cooks. Drain, leaving a little residual oil in the pot.

Return meat mixture to the pan over medium high heat and add the spice blend. Cook and stir for about a minute, then add one cup of water. Continue cooking and stirring as water evaporates and mixture thickens. Be warned: this is the tear gas stage.

Add the rest of the water and the can of tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to barely a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for about two hours, or until mixture has achieved desired consistency. Toward the end of the cooking time, add the beans.

Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese. I also like eating mine with warmed up corn tortillas.

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