Ten Chile Chili

This Mexican chile pepper is called “Chilaca” when used fresh. In California the Poblano chile is often called Pasilla. Since most of these are bought and distributed from California this mislabeling often carries over into the supermarkets nationwide causing alot of confusion. This chile is very mild and is usually consumed in the dry form to make the famous Mexican ‘mole’ sauces.

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1/3 cup cumin seeds
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 ancho chiles
2 mulato chiles
4 pasila chiles
6 lbs trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2 by 1/4-inch strips
1/2 lb thickly sliced lean bacon, cut crosswise into thin matchsticks
3/4 lb ham, finely diced
1 1/2 Tbsp corn oil
3 lbs large yellow Spanish onions, finely diced
3/4 cup diced celery
1 cup ground ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
5 bay leaves
1 pequin chile (optional)
3 jalapeno peppers
3 serrano peppers
1/2 can (3 1/2 oz size) chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
1 smoked ham hock
2 cans (24 oz each) Italian peeled tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup golden tequila
2 cups beef stock
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp crumbled sage
1 tsp oregano


Preheat the oven to 500°F. In a medium skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, 1 t 2 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat. Grind to a powder in a spice grinder or food processor.

Place the ancho, mulato, and pasilla chiles on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until fragrant and puffed up, about 2 minutes. Remove the stems and seeds and grind the chiles in a spice grinder or food processor until powdered.

In a stockpot, combine the beef, bacon, ham, and corn oil. Cook over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is golden, about 20 minutes.

Add the celery, ground chiles, and ancho chile powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the celery is softened and the chile powder is fragrant, about 10 mintues.

Add the cayenne, bay leaves, pequin chile, jalapeno and serrano peppers, chipotle chiles, ham hock, tomatoes, tequila, stock, rosemary, sage and oregano. Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 4 hours.

Serves 10.

From cdkitchen.com