A Super Bowl of Chili

Jalapenos are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapenos have a balanced combination of flavor and heat.

The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties. You can now get jalapenos with various heat level and sizes. These can be used in salsas, stuffed, or eaten straight with cheeseburgers (my personal favorite).

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Ingredients:

1 lb tender lean beef chuck, trimmed, coarsely chopped
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves pressed
1/2 tsp white or black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp cumin, roasted
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil for cooking
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large onions, chopped
2 Tbsp masa harina (corn flour or substitute wheat flour)
3 Tbsp red New Mexican mild chile powder
2 Tbsp pasila negro chile powder
1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15-oz) can beef stock
3 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp white or black pepper, freshly ground
2 tsp Mexican oregano
2 Tbsp cumin, roasted
1 tsp allspice
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp wine vinegar

For Garnish:
2 (15-oz) cans black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup Queso Fresco, Mexcian cheese, grated (substitute Feta or Parmesan)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3-4 limes, cut into wedges

Instructions:

Place meat and its seasonings in a large bowl and mix until meat is evenly coated. In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat oil to medium high and brown the meat evenly. Remove with slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. Add more oil to pot if needed and saute garlic, celery, and onions for 5 minutes.

Add the corn flour and stir until lightly browned. Then add the red and pasila chile powders and stir until fragrant.

Stir in stock, tomato sauce, seasonings, jalapenos and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning at the bottom of the pot. Add a bit of water to achieve a nice sauce consistency. Stir in vinegar and taste test, adding seasonings as needed.

Warm the beans and toss with 1 Tbsp of salsa. Place garnishes in separate bowls to serve at the table. Serve with corn bread and cole slaw or salad.

Serves 6. Heat level: Medium Hot.

From Chile Peppers calendar by Larry Noggle.