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World's Greatest Chili

Rick Bayless- Frontera Grill/Topolobampo

Chef demonstration

Makes 5 cups, enough for 4 to 6

  • 4 large ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 3/4 pound Twin Oak ground pork
  • 3/4 pound Heartland Meats ground beef 
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained 
  • 1 cup Three Sisters Garden cooked black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups small diced butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina 
  • About 1 cup shredded Brunkow 3 month white cheddar cheese
  • 3  green onions, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • About 1 cup slivered radishes

The chile seasoning: Heat a medium-size skillet over medium. When hot, toast chiles one by one: open flat and press down with spatula until the chile releases its aroma and toasts lightly, 10 to 15 seconds. Flip and toast the other side. In a small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to insure even soaking. Drain. In a food processor or blender, combine the chiles and a little water, garlic, and cumin. Blend to a smooth puree, scraping down and stirring frequently. (If the mixture won't move through the blender blades, stir in a tablespoon or two of water to get things going.) With a rubber spatula, work the chile mixture through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl. 

Brown meat and onion. Heat the oil in a medium-size (4-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven or Mexican cazuela) over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ground beef and onions. Stir, breaking up clumps, until browned thoroughly, about 10 minutes. (If there is lots of rendered fat, tip it off and discard.) 

Add the chile puree and stir for about 5 minutes as the mixture thickens and concentrates all those rich flavors. Stir in 2 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, simmer 45 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, butternut squash and masa harina. Partially cover and simmer gently over medium-low, stirring frequently, until the sauce has reduced to coat the meat rather thickly, about 30 minutes. 

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions and radishes.

Copyright November 2008 Chef Rick Bayless 

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