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Beef 1/1/1900


Submitted by: Ruth and Jim Bianchi

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Servings: 8

Ruth and Jim Bianchi served this chili at our book discussion club (we read to eat) and everyone wanted the recipe. You'll see why.

The recipe includes a kitchen tip that grinding the spices yourself gets more intense flavor, but you can substitute the powders for some of these spices and they will work very well.

Ruth says the prep time is 2+ hours, and it cooks for another 2, so save it for a rainy day. It is perfect for a rainy day!


Spice Mix:

2 dried ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed (or powder)
1 dired pasilla chili, stems and seeds removed (or powder)
stick cinnamon (or powder)
10 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (or powder)
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika


6 red bell peppers
3 jalapenos
3 pounds beef stew meat in 1-inch cubes, preferably from the shoulder
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
pound smoked bacon, dices
15 cloves garlic, sliced
2 large white or yellow onions, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Coriander-spiked sour cream with chips:

2 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon coriander seed, toasted, ground (or powder)
Finely grated zest from 1 orange
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 9-ounce bag corn tortilla chips, lightly crushed

Preheat broiler. Put red bell peppers and jalapenos on a sheet tray and char under broiler, turing until blistered and blackened on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer peppers and chilies to a large bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside to steam for 10 minutes, then peel, discarding stems, cores, and seeds. Chop peppers and chilies. Reserve any liquid that has accumulated in a separate bowl.

Make the spice mix. Crush ancho and pasilla chiilies into large pieces, then grind in a spice grinder or a coffee mill. Transfer to a medium bowl. Grind cinnamon stick, peppercorn, cumin seed and coriander seed together and add to bowl. Add paprika and mix all spices together. Set aside one teaspoon of the mix.

Season beef with salt and pepper. Place large, wide pot, such as a Dutch oven, over high heat until hot, about two minutes, and add two tablespoons of oil. Working in three batches, sear beef until deep golden and trarnsfer to large bowl, four to five minutes per batch. Add remaining oil to pot for last batch of beef.

Add bacon to pot and cook for three minutes, then transfer bacon to bowl with beef. Pour fat into a small bowl. Return two tablespoons fat to pot.

Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute, making sure the garlic doesn't brown.

Add two tablespoons more of bacon fat, the onions and a little salt, and cook, stirring and scraping brown bits from bottom of pot, until soft, six to eight minutes.

Add the spice mix and cook for one minute. Increase heat to high and add roasted red peppers, jalapenos, and tomato paste. Cook for three minutes, stirring often.

Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hand as you put them in the pot. Add liquid from tomatoes and reserved pepper juices.

Add the beef, bacon and any accumulated juices back to the pot. Cook covered over low heat until beef is tender, about two hours.

Add the beans. Season to taste with salt and remaining spice mix.

If making chili a day ahead, cool, then cover and refrigerate. To serve, skim off and discard grease on top, then reheat chili slowly, sitrring, until heated through. Be careful not to let the bottom burn .

Before serving, mix all ingredients for the coriander-spiked sour cream. Serve chilled as garnish on the chili. Top with chips.

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