Goat Chili with Eye of the Goat Beans

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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Ingredients:

3 dried Arbol chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 dried guajillo chile, stemmed and seeded
1 ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp hot pimenton de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
Kosher salt
2 lbs trimmed, boneless goat or pork shoulder, rinsed and picked over, then cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups dried Eye of the Goat or red kidney beans, rinsed and picked over, then soaked for 4 hours and drained
1 thick slice of bacon (1 oz), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strip
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup dark Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
Freshly ground pepper
Sour cream, cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, for serving

Instructions:

In a heatproof bowl, soak the árbol, guajillo and ancho chiles in the boiling water until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the chiles, reserving 1/3 cup of the soaking liquid. Coarsely chop the chiles.

In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Transfer the seeds to a blender. Add the chiles and their reserved soaking liquid along with the oregano, garlic, paprika and 1 tablespoon of salt. Puree until smooth. Scrape the chile puree into a large nonreactive bowl or baking dish. Add the goat and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In a large saucepan, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 1 hour. Add more water as needed to keep the beans covered by 2 inches. When the beans are just tender but still al dente, season them with salt and let stand in their cooking liquid for 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375┬░. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the bacon over moderate heat until the fat has rendered, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large plate. Add the olive oil to the casserole. Working in batches, cook the chile-goat mixture over moderately high heat, turning a few times, until richly browned all over, about 4 minutes. Transfer the browned goat to the plate with the bacon.

Add the onion to the casserole and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the goat and bacon and any accumulated juices and stir well. Add the beer and boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Cover the casserole, transfer it to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the goat is tender when pierced with a fork. Add the beans and bake, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until they are warmed through. Remove the casserole from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chili to bowls and serve with the sour cream, cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.

Make Ahead The chili can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently.

Serves 8.

Recipe by Laurence Jossel, foodandwine.com