Chili with Guajillo and Ancho Chiles
Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.
8 guajillo chiles
2 ancho chiles
1 dried New Mexico chile
4 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground lamb
One 28-oz can hominy
1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Break open the chiles and discard the stems and seeds. In a medium saucepan, cover the chiles with the water and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and remove from the heat. Let the chiles stand, stirring a few times, until very soft, about 1 hour. Working in batches, puree the chiles with their soaking liquid in a blender.
In a large pot, toast the cumin seeds over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the cumin seeds to a spice grinder and let cool completely. Grind the cumin seeds to a powder.
In the same pot, heat the oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the ground beef, pork and lamb and cook, breaking up the meat into coarse chunks, until starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the ground cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chile puree and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Stir the hominy and its liquid into the chili. Gradually stir in the cornmeal. Simmer, stirring, until thickened, 5 minutes. Season the chili with salt and pepper and serve.
Make Ahead The chili can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently.
Recipe by Tom Mylan, foodandwine.com.