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Touchdown Chili

Touchdown Chili


  • 3 dried ancho chili peppers, stemmed and seeded

  • 2 dried guajillo or pasilla chili peppers, stemmed and seeded

  • 3 cups beef stock

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

  • 1/2 pound fresh Mexican chorizo, casing removed or 1/3 pound center-cut bacon, finely chopped

  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck – ask your butcher for a coarse grind

  • Kosher salt (makes a nice crust on meat) and coarse black pepper

  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 fresh chili pepper, red Fresno or jalapeño, seeded and chopped, or sliced for extra heat

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano (half a palmful)

  • 1 tablespoon cumin (a palmful)

  • 1 tablespoon coriander (a palmful)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • A pinch of cinnamon

  • 1 bottle Negra Modelo beer (12 ounces)

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 3 tablespoons masa harina or cornmeal


Place the dried chili peppers in a pot and cover with stock. Bring to a low boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently, 10-15 minutes, then puree and reserve. Meanwhile, heat a Dutch oven with the vegetable or olive oil over high heat. Add the chorizo or bacon and begin to render. Pat the ground beef dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and develop a nice crusty brown on the beef. Add the onion, garlic, fresh chili, oregano, cumin, coriander, cloves and cinnamon. Cook the onion until soft; deglaze the pan with beer. Stir in the dried chili puree, honey and cornmeal; reduce the heat and simmer to thicken and develop the flavor, 45 minutes, over low heat. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal; then bring to room temperature and add a little water to reheat over medium flame. Serve with toppings of your choice.