Recipe: Mexican Mole Beef Chili
This rich and hearty chili won Savory Spice Shop Portland's 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off.
- 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds (or 1 Tbsp. ground cumin)
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 4 lbs. beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- salt and pepper
- 1 large red onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 3½ cups (or more) beef broth, divided
- 2 (15 oz.) cans dark red kidney beans (or beans of your choice)
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup ground ancho chile
- 1/4 cup Mild Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Mexican Mole, mixed with equal parts water and oil to make a paste
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- Masa harina (optional)
Toast cumin seeds over medium heat until fragrant, stirring often. Cool and grind finely in spice mill or with mortar and pestle. Set aside. Saute bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crispy then transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper; use salt sparingly as over-salting is a danger here. Divide beef into 4 batches and sear each in remaining bacon grease, about 5 min. per batch. Transfer beef and drippings to bowl with bacon. Add onion and garlic to the pot you used to cook bacon and beef and saute until onions begin to caramelize, about 6 min. Add ½ cup beef broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Return beef and bacon to pot. Stir in beans, tomatoes, ancho chile, chili powder, mole paste, vinegar, oregano, and reserved ground cumin. Add remaining beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, until fork tender, about 2½ to 3 hours. The longer it cooks, the beef will start to shred. Stir occasionally and add more beef broth by ½ cup at a time to thin if necessary, or add masa harina by the teaspoon to thicken if necessary. Once cooked down to desired consistency, taste and add salt if necessary. Serve warm with your favorite garnishes.
Delicious garnished with sour cream, queso fresco, fresh chopped scallions, fresh chopped jalapeño or red bell peppers, and tortillas or tortilla chips.