Five-Alarm Chili

I like Cook’s Country Magazine. It shows you how to make comfort food with depth of flavor.  While beer isn’t in many of their recipes, when it is, it’s excellent! And yes, I like beans in my chili. You may omit them if you prefer.

Source: Cooks Country Magazine,  August/September 2012, p. 8.

Serves: 8-10

2 oz dried ancho chies (4-6 chiles), stemmed, Seeded and fresh torn into 1-inch pieces
3  1/2 cups water
1 (28-0unce) can whole peeled tomatoes
3/4 cup crushed corn tortilla chips
1/4 cup canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, plus 2 tsp adobo sauce
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 lb 85% lean ground beef
salt and pepper
2 lb onions, chopped fine
2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeds reserved and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs ground cumin
2 tbs chili powder
1 tbs dried oregano
2 tsp ground corinader
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups beer
3 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed.

Combine the anchoes and 1 1/2 cups water in a bowl and microwave until softened, about 3 minutes. Drain and discard liquid. Process anchos, tomatoes and their juice, remain 2 cups water, tortilla chips, chipotle and adobo sauce in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute; set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add beef, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up pieces with a spoon, until all the liquid has evaporated and the meat begins to sizzle, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain in colander and set aside.

Heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat until simmering.  Add onions and jalapenos and seeds and cook until onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. 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. Stir in beans, reserved ancho-tomato mixture, and reserved cooked beef and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 50 to 60 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Serve.

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