This hearty Five-Alarm Chili is loaded with enough spice to call in the fire department. The spice comes from 5 different sources: jalapeno, chipotle in adobo, chili powder, cayenne, and ancho. That’s a whole lot of spice!
I’ll admit I chickened out a little when making this recipe and toned down the quantities of spice some. The resulting chili had a complex spice flavor, but didn’t stimulate my tear ducts. Don’t get me wrong, I like my chili spicy. But the amount of spice seemed so excessive I felt a little moderation was called for.
In addition to the spices, this chili is also flavored with beer. It’s best to go with just a plain ole beer here. I used Budweiser. A dark, strongly flavored beer could give the chili a bitter taste. Some crushed tortillas are added to the chili and they really help thicken it up and give it a corn flavored taste in much the way that adding masa does.
Top with a little sour cream and avocado to tame the heat and you have a delicious cold weather meal. And don’t forget your side of cornbread!
- 2 ounces died ancho chiles stems and seeds removed and flesh torn into 1-inch pieces (4 to 6)
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 3/4 cup crushed corn tortilla chips
- 1/4 cup canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, I used about 4 peppers which almost filled up 1/4 cup measure cup and I added adobo sauce to fill the cup
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
- 2 pounds 85% lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
- salt and pepper
- 2 pounds onion, I used 2 medium-sized onions, chopped fine
- 2 jalapeno chilis, I just used 1, stemmed, seeds reserved, and minced
- 6 cloves garlic (I used 4)
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, I used 1/2 teaspoon
- 1 1/2 cups beer (I used Budweiser)
- 3 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed
- Combine ancho chilis and 1 1/2 cup water in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until softened, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Drain and discard liquid.
- Place ancho chilis, tomatoes and their juice, remaining 2 cups water, tortilla chips, and chipotle in adobo sauce in a blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven until oil starts to smoke. Add ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and cook until well-browned, breaking into pieces with spoon, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain meat in a colander and set aside.
- Heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil in Dutch oven and add onions and jalapenos with seeds. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until onion is nicely browned. Stir in garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, sugar, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour in beer and bring to a simmer. Add in beans, ancho-tomato mixture, and beef and return to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 50 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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Recipe Source: Cook’s Country August/September 2012
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