Roadhouse Chili

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Roadhouse Chili
  • 2 lbs. chuck roast, trimmed of fat, and cut into bite size pieces
  • 10 dried ancho peppers
  • 1 lb. tomatoes, roasted under the broiler, and peeled
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 cloves garlic.
  • 1 lb. Three Sisters Pinto Beans
  • 1 tbs Three Sisters Fine Cornmeal
  • 6-8 cups of stock (beef/chicken/vegetable) or water depending on desires thickness

Pull the stems and seeds from the dried ancho peppers. With boiler on high, and oven rack moved to the highest position place the peppers on a sheet pan and toast under the broiler until the first wisps of smoke are visible.  Place the peppers in a large bowl, and cover with hot tap water. Place a saucer or smaller bowl on top of the peppers to keep them submerged. Soak 12-20 minutes

Wipe down your sheet pan and place tomatoes stem-side down to inhibit rolling. Place sheet pan directly under the broiler, and roast 7 to 10 minutes until skins are well blackened. Remove from oven and using a pair of tongs turn tomatoes stem side up and return to broiler for 5-7 minutes or until skin are well blackened. Remove from broiler and allow to cool. Once cooled remove skins.

Pour the pinto beans on a plate or sheet pan and check for stones, then place in a medium sauce pot along with 6 cups of water, and a spoonful of oil or lard.  Bring the pan to a rolling boil, cover, reduce to a simmer. After an hour start tasting to check consistency. Once the beans are tender season with salt and set aside.

Slice the onion and brown well in a shallow pan over medium high heat.  As the onions are cooking break up the garlic, not bothering to peel, and add the full cloves to the cooking onions. Once everything is well browned, transfer directly to a blender or food processor. Pour out the soaking liquid from the chiles, and add them to the blender as well. Add fresh water or stock (chicken/beef/vegetable), as necessary to blend the mixture to a smooth consistency. Dilute puree to desired consistency. 

Set a stew pot on the stove, and strain the chile puree into the pot. All those garlic skins will stay in the strainer, along with any errant chile seeds. Adding liquid as necessary, boil the chile vigorously for at least an hour, then blend and add the tomatoes.

Add the stew meat to the pan, and cook over medium, first adding the cooking liquid from the pintos, and then stock or water.  After about an hour, or when the meat is almost tender enough, add the beans to the pot, and cook about 20 minutes more.  Stir the cornmeal into a quarter cup of cold water, and pour through the strainer, directly into the pot.  As the texture thickens, recheck consistency and seasoning. Cook 10 minutes.

I would be inclined to serve this chile with a nice skillet cornbread, a sprinkling of cheese, perhaps a handful of pea shoots on the side, but that is completely your call.

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