I’m sure a lot of people out there have a chili recipe. I’ve grown up in Texas, around here there are chili cook-offs held in just about every city from Laredo to Amarillo. And everyone has their own version. Some make “Texas Red”, which is never made with beans, some add coffee or chocolate, some add bell peppers, and up in Cincinnati, they serve it over spaghetti. (Which doesn’t seem like chili to me, but hey, who am I to judge?) Mine is somewhere close to a Texas Red…only I did break the rules. I added beans. Because, frankly, meat has gotten expensive. Personally, I enjoy the texture beans add to the dish…and they’re healthy, so why not?
Anyway, this has been a recipe that has been tweaked for years. It’s relatively hot, but not burn-the-pants-off-ya hot. And if you wish to make it gluten-free, use a gluten-free beer (such as Redbridge), or use additional chicken broth (or beef broth, even). (Note: Several of my family members are celiac, and the Redbridge, which is supposedly wheat and barley-free, has even caused issues. If this is an issue for you, please use broth instead of the beer.) And as for the dried chiles, feel free to substitute. Just be aware, if you substitute with a hotter chile, just use less. Or don’t…but don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Enjoy this chili with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and diced onions.
8-9 dried guajillo peppers, stems and seeds removed
5-6 dried chipotle peppers, stems and seeds removed
3 lbs lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 T minced garlic
1 7 oz can green chiles
3 T chili powder, preferably New Mexico Hot (you can use mild if you want milder chili)
4 T ground cumin
2 t salt
2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 small can tomato paste
1 c chicken broth
2 c water
1 c beer
3 cans beans (kidney and/or white northern), with liquid
1 ½ T maple syrup, or to taste
Put the dried peppers in a small saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes. Put peppers and 1 c of the water into blender and blend until smooth. Set chili paste aside.
Brown ground beef in a large stockpot or saucepan over medium heat, stirring until crumbly; drain the excess drippings. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes more, until the onions are translucent.
Add the green chiles, regular chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper and mix well. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking, to blend the flavors.
Stir in the tomato paste, chicken broth, ¾ c of the chili paste and 2 cups water. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Cook, covered for 1 hour.
Add beans with liquid, and add beer. Stir. Cook for an additional 45 minutes to an hour, until of desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the amount of the chili paste and other seasonings as necessary. Add maple syrup and cook for 5-10 minutes more.