My shopping cart
Your cart is currently empty.Continue Shopping
4 pounds of beef chuck or boneless short-rib, cut into small pieces
1 quart chicken stock, divided
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
Your favorite mix of chilis, either 7-8 whole, seeded and stemmed, or about 1/3 cup ground*
1 Tbsp coffee beans (ground is ok also)
Tallow or neutral oil
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 anchovy fillets or 2 tsp red miso
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp red vermouth‡
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup bourbon‡
Dark brown sugar, to taste
Red onion, finely minced
Sharp cheddar, grated
Season the beef with salt, be generous. Divide the chicken stock evenly between two bowls and add the gelatin to one and the sun dried tomatoes to the other.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toast your whole or ground chilis. Whole will take 2-3 minutes, ground will be done in about 20 seconds (stir constantly so they do not burn). Remove to the bowl of chicken stock that has the tomatoes in it.
In the same skillet add the cumin, coriander, clove, and star anise. Toast, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about a minute and a half), then remove to a clean bowl to cool.
In the same skillet add a few teaspoons of neutral oil and brown the beef in batches, setting the pieces aside in a large pot or pressure cooker. In the meantime finely grind the toasted spices and coffee together.
Once all the beef is browned, pour the bowl with the tomatoes and chilis into the pan to deglaze, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Cook for five minutes to dissolve everything, then transfer to a blender that can handle hot liquids, or add a few ice cubes to cool it down more rapidly and transfer to a regular blender.
In the same skillet add a bit of neutral oil or tallow and sauté the onion until soft and lightly browned (8-10 minutes). Meanwhile, add the ground spices, anchovies or miso, soy sauce, Apollonia, and vermouth to the blender and blend until smooth, adding a bit of water if it's too thick to blend easily.
Add the garlic, oregano, and jalapeño to the skillet and cook for another couple minutes. Then transfer to the pot with the beef along with the blended chili base and raise the heat to high. Cook for 5-6 minutes, coating all of the beef evenly.
Add the chicken stock with gelatin, tomatoes (crushed roughly by hand), apple cider vinegar, bourbon, and bay leaves, plus just enough water (if needed) to submerge all solids. Bring to a boil and either pressure cook for 35 minutes with a natural release, or, if using a regular pot, reduce the heat and cook at a simmer with the lid slightly open for about 3 1/2 hours.
Remove the bay leaves and give everything a good stir. Adjust seasoning with vinegar, salt, and brown sugar, to your tastes. Add about 1 tablespoon of arrowroot starch to 1/4 cup water to form a slurry, add to the pot and stir until the chili is thickened, then remove from heat.
It's great right away, but even better reheated the next day. It can also easily be frozen in individual portions so you can enjoy it any time.
I like serving chili over fresh polenta, which is extremely easy to make in a pressure cooker. Just boil 5 cups of water and add a big pinch of salt. Add 1 cup of polenta, whisking rapidly so you don't get any clumps. Seal and bring to pressure, reducing the heat to medium low, then cook for 7 minutes. Quick release, then stir over heat until it has the consistency of a thick sauce (about 1 minute). If you prefer a very soupy polenta you can increase the water to 6 cups.
I usually serve one ladle of chili over two ladles of polenta, garnishing with red onion, cheddar cheese, and sour cream.
‡ If you do not consume alcohol you can replace the vermouth with a couple teaspoons of pomegranate molasses and the bourbon with 1/2 teaspoon of non-alcoholic vanilla extract.
• Flavor boosts:
- Try adding 4-5 teaspoons of Izak N37 to the chilis.
- Include 1 tablespoon of Sajira for an extra cuminy kick.
- Instead of coffee and clove try using 1 tablespoon of our Cara blend.
- Substitute beef shank (about 5-5.5 pounds since it includes bone), include the bones when cooking and enjoy a cook's treat of chili flavored bone marrow.
• As the blended chili base is somewhat involved I often quadruple it and freeze portions so I can easily make chili more easily later. It's also a great way to add quick flavor to tacos, braises, pasta dishes, and casseroles.
• Other great things to serve this chili over include cooked elbow macaroni (or make macaroni and cheese and enjoy some chili mac), a thick slice of buttered toast (top it all with an olive oil fried egg for a rich treat), or mashed potatoes.
• For beans I recommend cooking them separately. I like to add 2-3 teaspoons of Cataluña N22 per pound of uncooked beans to infuse them with their own flavor. When the beans are cooked to your liking combine them with the cooked chili and you'll have a great contrast of textures and flavors.
Recipe and photos © Christian Leue
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org