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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Texas Red Chili

This is my favorite chili. It is served over rice with cheese, avacado, sour cream, green onions etc on top if you want. It is more of a stew than a chili and is extremely spicy. This recipe is courtesy of Martha Stewart magazine. You can skip the chiles step by just adding 1/2 c chili powder to the onion mixture and cooking for one minute. The chile step though is pretty easy and makes it taste so much better.

Texas Red Chili - Makes 8 cups, serves 8
8 whole dried chiles (5 ancho and 3 guajillo or all ancho)
3 Tbsp oil
3 lbs beef chuck cut into small pieces, 1/2 inch or smaller
salt and pepper
2 large onions, chopped, about 4 cups
7 to 8 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno or serrano chiles, seeded if desired (I always seed), minced
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes, pureed with their juice
4 c water plus more if needed
2-3 Tbsp white vinegar, to taste

1. Toast dried chiles in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and blistered, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove stem and seeds; discard. Put chiles in a large bowl and cover with hot water and soak for 30 minutes. Remove from water and puree in a blender with 1/2 soaking liquid.
2. In a large pot heat 2 Tbsp. oil. Season beef with 2 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Brown beef in batches, about 10 minutes for each batch. Transfer to a plate.
3. In pot with the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, brown onions, garlic and minced chiles for about 5 minutes. Add spices. Stir in beef and chile puree. Add tomatoes, water and 1/2 tsp salt. Reduce heat and simmer gently, partially covered until meat is very tender and chile is thick, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add water if it gets too dry. Season with salt and vinegar. Serve or freeze for up to 3 months.