Beef and chipotle chili with móle

Doctored chili changes up game plan

Originally appeared in the February 2, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

If you’ve glimpsed the (nearly inescapable) coverage on our local news broadcasts, or given a cursory glance at an Indy newspaper, then you know this year’s Super Bowl holds special interest for our city.  And if you watch and listen closely, you’ll notice the emphasis on celebrating this beloved occasion with food.  (There have even been several stories on the veritable horseshoe of food trucks that have intermittently surrounded Monument Circle.)

While there are traditional, football-friendly dishes, game-day grub varies from tribe to tribe.  But there’s something special about chili—a savory, communal stew that satiates the demands of a party in terms of both quality and quantity.  Though, as far as tradition goes, I’ve made a few adjustments for this one.  Read more after the jump:With the addition of jalapeno peppers (a chipotle is just a smoked jalapeno), masa, beer, and móle (a rich, chile-based sauce), there’s a distinct Mexican influence with to this chili permutation.  As a final twist, I replaced the traditional cheddar cheese-and-cracker accompaniment with Cotija and torillas.  The crumbly Cotija has a dry texture, and the tortillas give a nice nod to the use of masa.

If you decide to produce this chili for Sunday’s game, expect a house full of cheering fans—their applause will likely be for you.

Beef and chipotle chili with móle

Serves 4 – 6

1 pound chuck steak, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • As needed, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • ½ white onion, small dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded, small dice
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, small chop
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina (corn flour)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 8 fluid ounces Negro Modelo beer or Dos XX dark
  • 16 fluid ounces tomato juice
  • 16 fluid ounces chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tablespoons prepared poblano (brown) móle
  • 1, 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1, 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • As needed, Cotija  cheese (or queso fresco) and corn tortilla chips for garnish

1.  Using a small amount of oil, in a heavy-bottomed pot over moderate-high heat, sear beef in batches, seasoning with kosher salt and black pepper as you go.  When beef is browned on all sides, remove from pan and reserve on a plate.  Add a small amount of oil, lower heat slightly, and add onion; cook for several minutes until onion is translucent.  Add garlic and jalapeno; after several minutes add chipotle (allow adobe to give some color to ingredients).  Add butter; when melted, add masa harina and (using a wooden spoon) stir to make a paste.  Add dry spices: cumin, paprika, and chili powder.

2.  When spices become aromatic, deglaze bottom of the pan with beer, using your spoon to scrape-up the browned bits (this is called fond); allow beer to reduce slightly.  Return beef to pot, add in tomato juice, stock, and móle.  Bring to a simmer, making sure the móle dissolves.  Lower heat, cover pot, and gently simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until beef is tender.

3.  After beef is tender, pour in both portions of beans, and stir to heat them.  Serve chili in large bowls; garnish with Cotija cheese and corn tortilla chips.

Published in: on February 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Welp, Chef….another fine cooking session facilitated by your easily followed recipe and hungry family members. This recipe was wonderful, and had just the spicy kick needed to warm us up on a rainy, dreary day…..!!!



    The Hagerty Family!

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