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I read about this chili a long time ago, but it seemed so complicated and it had a TON of ingredients. I put it on my list of things to make, but I figured I wouldn’t ever get to it. But, I was looking for a fun way to use up some frozen french fries, so I got the idea to make chili cheese fries. But the Cook’s Illustrated recipe seemed too fancy for fries, with it’s diced blade steaks and beans. I made a few changes and made a deliciously flavored chili that is worthy to serve in any way I like! I used ground beef and omitted the beans. I cut down and simplified the peppers just because I didn’t want to buy a ton of dried chiles that would have limited use. The chili cheese fries were awesome! I made a queso that tasted good and was smooth and creamy, but it wasn’t as drippy and liquid-y as I wanted. It was from Foodie Bride, I think. It probably just needs more liquid.
I made this chili a day early, and gently reheated it on the stove. 1/2 of the recipe is enough for 2 big meals for me and Jacob.

Cook’s Illustrated Chili


  • 3 dried chile peppers, stems and seeds removed, and flesh torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, stems and seeds removed and discarded, diced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon light molasses
  • 1.25 lbs ground beef, 85/15
  • 1/2 (12 oz) bottle beer
  • Suggested toppings: green onions, diced fresh tomatoes, diced avocado, lime wedges, sour cream, cheddar cheese
  • Ideas: chili cheese fries, chili with cornbread


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place Ancho chilies in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat; toast, stirring frequently, until flesh is dry and fragrant, 4-6 minutes, reducing heat if chilies begin to smoke. Transfer to bowl of food processor and cool. Do not wash out skillet.

Add arbol chilies, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa, and1 teaspoon salt to food processor with toasted ancho chilies; process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. With processor running, very slowly add ½ cup broth until smooth, thick paste forms, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Transfer to small bowl. Place onions in now-empty processor bowl and pulse until roughly chopped, about four 1-second pulses. Add jalapenos and pulse until consistency of chunky salsa, about four 1-second pulses, scraping down bowl as necessary.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until any exuded moisture has evaporated and vegetables are softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili paste, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and molasses; stir until chili paste is thoroughly combined. Add remaining 2 cups broth and beans; bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Brown beef in skillet, breaking it up into tiny pieces with a spoon, about 8 minutes. Transfer meat to Dutch oven. Add ½ bottle lager to skillet, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits, and bring to simmer. Transfer lager to Dutch oven. Stir to combine and return mixture to simmer.

Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook for 1 hour. Let chili stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir well and season to taste with salt. Serve with desired condiments.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/COOKS-ILLUSTRATED-ULTIMATE-CHILI-50092399#ixzz1aS4oyM7A


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