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Our Favorite Chili


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  • table salt
  • 8 8 8 Ounces dried pinto beans (1 cup)
  • 6 6 3/4 dried ancho chiles (1 3/4 ounces) *
  • 2 2 2 árbol chiles * *
  • 3 3 3 Tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 2 2 Teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 2 2 Teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 2 2 Teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 2 1/2 1/2 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 2 2 onions
  • 3 3 3 Small jalapeno chiles
  • 3 3 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 4 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 1 can 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 2 2 Teaspoons molasses
  • 3 1/2 3 1/2 3/4 Pounds blade steaks , 3/4 inch thick * * *
  • 1 1 bottle 1 (12-ounce) bottle mild-flavored lager * * * *
  • Ancho chiles have a mild, fruity, and slightly smoky flavor. If you cannot find ancho chiles at your supermarket, you may use an equal amount of dried New Mexican or guajillo chiles instead.
  • to 1/8 to contribute a lot of heat. They can sometimes be difficult to locate, but you can substitute 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper for each árbol chile. Use just two árbol chiles if you want this chili to be moderately spicy.
  • Any basic American beer, such as Budweiser, is fine in this recipe.



Step 1

Prepare Beans

Rinse 8 ounces (1 cup) dried pinto beans and pick out any blemished beans and stones. Combine 3 tablespoons salt, 4 quarts water, and beans in large Dutch oven. Bring to boil over high heat. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse well.

Prepare Ingredients

Cut 2 onions into ¾-inch pieces. (You should have about 2 cups.) Stem and seed 3 small jalapeño chiles, then cut into ½-inch pieces. Mince 4 garlic cloves. (You should have about 4 teaspoons.) Trim 3½ pounds blade steaks of gristle and fat. Cut steaks into ¾-inch pieces.

Make Chile Paste

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Place 6 dried ancho chiles in 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat. Toast, stirring frequently, until flesh is fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. (Reduce heat if chiles begin to smoke.) Transfer chiles to cutting board and cool. (Do not wash out skillet.) Split open cooled chiles and brush out seeds. Break off and discard stems. Transfer chiles to bowl of food processor. Add 3 tablespoons cornmeal, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, and ½ teaspoon salt to food processor. Remove stems from 2-4 dried árbol chiles.

Split open chiles and remove seeds. Add seeded chiles to food processor. Process ingredients until finely ground, about 2 minutes. With processor running, very slowly add ½ cup chicken broth until smooth paste forms, about 45 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Transfer paste to small bowl.

Process Vegetables

Place onions in now-empty processor bowl, pulse until roughly chopped, about four 1-second pulses. Add jalapeños and pulse until consistency of chunky salsa, about four 1-second pulses, scraping down bowl as necessary.

Cook Vegetables

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large Dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering. Add onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture has evaporated and vegetables are softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili paste, 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, and 2 teaspoons molasses, and stir until chili paste is thoroughly combined. Add remaining 2 cups chicken broth and drained beans. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.

Brown Beef

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat beef dry with paper towels, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Add half of beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to Dutch oven. Add half of 12-ounce bottle of lager to skillet.

Scrape bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits, and bring to simmer. Transfer lager to Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, remaining steak, and remaining half bottle of lager. Once last addition of lager has been added to Dutch oven, stir to combine and return mixture to simmer.

Cook and Serve Chili

Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until meat and beans are fully tender, 1½ to 2 hours. Let chili stand, uncovered, 10 minutes.
42. Stir well and season to taste with salt before serving

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