Susan Maria's 'First Place' Chili

Yep, I won First Place in the July 4th Chili Cookoff.

I've been telling y'all for years that I make great chili! This recipe is the best one yet. Follow it exactly and you'll have the most delicious bowl o' red on the planet! or at least the best at Desert Mountain... try it, you'll love it!

Ingredients

  • 6 dried ancho chiles
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  • One 25 ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes, mostly lean
  • 12 ounces Mexican beer
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons chicken base
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cut open chiles and remove stems and seeds.
  • Heat frying pan and toast each of the flat chile pieces by pressing down for a few seconds with a spatula.
  • Remove toasted chiles to a medium saucepan, add water to cover, bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover and allow chilies to soften.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven, saute onion and garlic until golden, stir in the paprika and cook an additional minute. Transfer to the bowl of the food processor, add the tomatoes, the softened chiles, and process to a smooth puree.
  • Heat the Dutch oven to medium-high, add additional oil if needed and brown the meat. Do it in two batches in order to obtain a nice sear.
  • Deglaze with the beer, add the chile tomato puree, stir in the honey, chicken base, cumin, oregano and cinnamon.
  • Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer, adding beans about 1 1/2 hours into cooking time.
  • Simmer chili for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until meat is very tender.
  • Adjust seasonings and serve with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and shredded Monterrey Jack.

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