3-4 lb. chuck roast – cubed in 1” pieces
1 ½ lb. ground beef (big grind)
10 dried ancho chiles (stemmed and seeded)
6 dried arbol chiles (stemmed and seeded)
3-6 pablano peppers
3 jalapeno peppers
4 tbsp. cornmeal (better if fresh and coarse)
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. cumin
2 tbsp. quality cocoa
3-4 cups chicken broth
2 onions quartered
4 tbsp. tallow (can substitute with oil or butter)
5-8 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. molasses
The foundation of this recipe is Cooks Illustrated Ultimate Beef Chili with a few tricks and refinements.
Seed poblano, cut in half and char to remove skin. Start by tearing the ancho chiles and toast in a cast iron pan until smokey and softened (5-10 minutes). Place ancho chiles in a food processor and let cool before adding dried arbols, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa and 1 tbsp. SaltNumber 3. Process until finely ground. Slowly add ½ cup of chicken broth to create a paste. Remove paste to bowl.
Place onions in processor and chop (no need to clean processor). Add chard skimmed pablanos, jalapeno and chop with 10 pulses to create uniform pieces.
Heat tbsp. of tallow or oil in dutch oven. Put onion mixture in and sauté 10 minutes, add garlic (sauté), and add paste, chopped tomatillos, and molasses. Stir, add 2-3 cups of chicken broth – simmer. Cook meat in small batches (5-7) deglaze pan with beer and add to dutch oven before each browning. Place meat in dutch oven and squeeze lemon/lime to offset bitterness. Slow cook in oven at 250 degrees for 2 plus hours.
Using fresh peppers can make the entire chili bitter. Any combination of Salt, Sweet, Sour or Umami can eliminate the bitterness. A squeeze of lime, dash of salt and a bit of molasses usually do the trick.