Ten Chile Chili

  1. 1/3 cup cumin seeds
    2 tbsp coriander seeds
    2 ancho chiles
    2 mulato chiles
    4 pasilla chiles
    6 lb trimmed beef chuck, cut into
    1 1/2 by 1/4 inch strips
    1/2 lb thickly sliced lean bacon
    cut crosswise into thin matchsticks
    3/4 lb ham, finely diced
    1 1/2 tbsp corn oil
    3 lbs lg yellow Spanish onions, finely diced
    3/4 cup diced celery
    1 cup ground ancho chile powder
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  2. 5 bay leaves
    1 pequin chile (optional)
    3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
    3 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
    1/2 can (3 1/2 ounces) chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
    1 smoked ham hock
    2 cans (24 ounces each) Italian peeled tomatoes, drained
    1/2 cup golden tequila
    2 cups beef stock
    1/2 tsp rosemary
    1 tsp crumbled sage
    1 tsp oregano
  1. Preheat the oven to 500F. In a medium skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately remove from heat. Grind to a powder in a spice grinder or food processor.
  2. Place the ancho, mulato and pasilla chiles on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until fragrant and puffed up, about 2 minutes. Remove the stems and seeds and grind the chiles in a spice grinder or food processor until powdered.
  3. In a stockpot, combine the beef, bacon, ham and corn oil. Cook over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is golden, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the celery, ground chiles and ancho chile powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the celery is softened and the chile powder is fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the cayenne, bay leaves, pequin chile, jalapeno and serrono peppers, chipotle chiles, ham hock, tomatoes, tequila, stock, rosemary, sage and oregano. Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 4 hours.
  6. Recipe by Stephanie da Silva

Chili Trivia:

  • Chili is the official state food of Texas
  • Cincinnati Chili was inspired by Greek and Macedonian immigrants around the turn of the 20th century
  • The intensity of heat in the taste of the Chile peppers usually decreases as the size of the pepper increases