I will be the first to admit that this dish isn’t something that you want to attempt after a long day at the office. Make this on a Sunday and enjoy it during the week – in fact, it tastes better if you make it at least one day ahead of time so that the flavors have time to meld. This all-beef, no-bean chili gets added appeal from a seasonal ingredient: butternut squash.
Makes 4 to 5 servings
- 3-4 dried ancho chiles
- 3 oz. bacon, diced
- 3/4 pounds onion, chopped
- 1 3-pound flat-cut (first cut) beef brisket, cut into 2-inch cubes
- coarse salt
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 12-oz. bottle Mexican beer
- 1 7-oz. can diced roasted green chiles
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
- 2 cups peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash
- cilantro leaves
- chopped red onion
- diced avocado
- shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- warm corn and/or flour tortillas
Place chiles in medium bowl and pour enough boiling water over them to completely cover. Soak until chiles soften, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Saute bacon in large oven-proof pot over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Add onions, reduce heat to medium; cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle beef with coarse salt and pepper – add to pot; stir to coat and set aside.
Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid.
Remove stems (and some seeds if you aren’t a fan of spicy food) and place chiles in a blender, add 1 cup soaking liquid, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander and 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt; blend to puree, add more soaking liquid in 1/4 cup increments if the puree is too thick. Pour puree over brisket in pot. Add tomatoes with juices, beer, green chiles and cilantro stems. Stir to coat evenly.
Bring chili to a simmer, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hour 15 minutes. Uncover and cook until beef is almost tender, about 30-40 more minutes. Add squash; stir to coat. Roast uncovered until beef and squash are tender, adding more soaking liquid if needed to keep meat covered, about 30 minutes longer. Season chili to taste with salt and pepper. Tilt pot and spoon off any fat from the surface of the sauce.
Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Reheat chili over medium-low and serve with any of the garnishes listed above.
adapted from a recipe found here