If you are looking for the ground beef chili your mother made for Friday night dinner, this isn’t it. If instead you want to taste what amounts to a fabulous, highly spiced beef stew, then I highly recommend this chili. Leftovers reheat well.
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
Dietary RestrictionsGluten Free
Taste and TextureSpiced
- 2 each ancho and guajillo chiles, 2 reconstituted (see Tips)
- 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) pure lard or oil
- 1 lb (500 g) each trimmed boneless stewing beef and stewing pork, cut into 1⁄2-inch (1 cm) cubes and patted dry (see Tips)
- 2 onions, thinly sliced on the vertical
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp (15 mL)each ground cumin and dried Mexican oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
- 6 green onions (white and green parts), very thinly sliced (optional)
- Crumbled Mexican Cheese, such as soft cotija
Transfer reconstituted chiles with liquid to blender. Add cilantro and purée until smooth. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in Dutch oven, melt lard over medium-high heat. Add beef and pork, in batches, and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate as completed and set aside. Reduce heat to medium.
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Add sliced onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return beef and pork to pan. Add reserved ancho and guajillo chile mixture and stir well. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to preheated oven. Bake until meat is very tender, about 2 hours.
Ladle into warm soup plates. Garnish with serrano pepper (if using) and green onions (if using). Sprinkle with cheese.
To reconstitute dried chiles, remove the stems and place in a heatproof bowl. Add 2 cups (500 mL) boiling beef stock and soak for 30 minutes, weighing the chiles down with a cup to ensure they remain submerged.
If you want to make a version of this dish that is similar to the one made by former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, substitute venison for the beef. You can also cube a beef chuck roast and use it in place of the stewing beef.