Chili

This recipe will appeal to just about everyone. Whether it’s the Super Bowl, game night or just a plain Tuesday dinner, it can be dressed up and down for the occasion.

From Mad Hungry, by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books). Copyright 2009.

Chili

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    Ingredients

    5 dried red chilies (Mexican ancho, New Mexican Hatch or Anaheim) 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper akes (or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
    1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 cup chopped onion 1 bay leaf
    3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon) 1/4 cup pickled jalapeos, chopped (optional)
    2 pounds ground beef 1 28-ounce can tomatoes, broken up, with juice
    1 tablespoon coarse salt 12 ounces beer
    1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 15-ounce can beans (pinto, kidney, black or a combination), drained

    directions

    Prep: 20 min Total: More than 60 min
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    • 1

      In a large dry skillet over high heat, lightly toast the chilies on both sides for a few minutes, then remove from pan, slice open and remove and discard the stem and seeds.

    • 2

      Place the sliced chilies in a small bowl and cover them in boiling water; let soften for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and purée the chilies in a blender or food processor, adding enough of the hot soaking liquid to form a thick paste.

    • 3

      Heat the skillet again over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat and add the beef and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Brown the beef, stirring occasionally to pick up browned bits on the bottom of the pan as the moisture evaporates, about 15 minutes. If the meat is excessively fatty (your judgment call), spoon off some of the fat, but leave some for avor.

    • 4

      Stir in the cumin and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chili paste, red pepper akes, oregano, bay leaf, jalapeños and remaining salt. Stir to combine well.

    • 5

      Add the tomatoes and beer and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the beans and cook an additional 20 minutes, adding water if needed for desired consistency.

    • 6

      Serve with a variety of fixings, such as grated cheese, sour cream, sliced avocados, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion or scallions and minced cilantro. Garnish with tortilla chips or crumbled cornbread.

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