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Beef Chili

Beef Chili

  • 4 1/2 cups water, plus 5 cups warm water
  • 4 dried ancho chiles
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles
  • 4 dried mulato chiles
  • 1 dried chipotle chile
  • 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion (from 1 large onion)
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and jalapeno chile slices, for serving (optional)


  1. Bring 4 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread ancho, guajillo, mulato, and chipotle chiles and garlic on a baking sheet. Roast until softened, about 7 minutes. Let cool slightly.

  2. Tear chiles into pieces, discarding stems and seeds. Add to boiling water, remove from heat, and top with a smaller plate to keep chiles submerged. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup water. Puree chiles, reserved chile water, the tomatoes and their juices, and 5 cups warm water in a blender.

  3. Peel garlic. Pound garlic, cumin, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, and the vinegar into a paste with a mortar and pestle.

  4. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season beef generously with salt and pepper. Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, cook beef until browned all over, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to pot, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic paste, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in beef and chile puree, and season with salt and pepper. Raise heat, partially cover pot, and simmer chili until thickened, about 2 1/2 hours. Stir in beans, and cook until heated through. Serve with sour cream, cheese, and jalapeno.

  • Prep Time 30 minutes
  • Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield Serves 8 to 10
Martha Stewart Living, October 2012
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