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Isaac’s Three Alarm Chili con Carne

  • Category: Beef, Soup
  • Submitted By: Isaac Owsley
  • Town/State: Sonora, CA
  • Serving Size: 4 – 6
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Cooking time: about 2 hours (30 minutes if you use canned beans)

This is my personal chili recipe that I developed years ago and is one that I am particularly proud of. It has delicious results whether it is slow cooked for several hours or made the quick way with ground beef and canned beans. One of the things you may notice is that this recipe calls for some ingredients that don’t seem to fit into what one considers as belonging in a savory recipe, things such as chocolate and cinnamon, but they are in fact ingredients used in traditional Mexican recipes such as mole’ sauce, You may also notice I use chipotle peppers as its heat source and flavor base. To those who aren’t familiar with this pepper, chipotle (pronounced Chi pote lay) peppers are a variety jalapeño pepper that has been dried and smoked over oak coals which produces a very mellow smoky flavor that perfectly compliments the flavor and mellow smoldering heat of the finished chili. I recommend serving this chili piping hot with diced yellow onions and a heaping serving of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream, Yum!

Amount Measure Ingredients
3 ½ pounds Beef, chuck roast or cross rib cut into 1″ cubes (or use lean ground beef)
2 pounds dry pinto beans (or 3 cans, drained)
1 pound dried kidney beans (or 2 cans, drained)
1/4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chili seasonings (I recommend Grandma’s Chili Fixings brand)
1/4 cup canned chipotle peppers en adobo (in sauce)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup smooth unsweetened peanut butter

To prepare:

Rinse dried beans well and place in a large, heavy pot covered in hot water. Add in approximately 2 Tbsp of the chili seasoning and 2 tbsp chipotle peppers (this should equal two whole peppers in sauce) bring the beans to a boil then reduce heat to a fast simmer and cook until the beans are tender, adding water as needed to keep beans covered. While the beans are cooking, heat a large heavy skillet over high heat, add in 1 tbsp oil and brown the beef cubes (or ground beef) until brown on all sides. Add in the cocoa powder and cinnamon and stir well, simmer 2-3 minutes then add in the onions, crushed garlic chipotle peppers, and remaining chili seasoning. Stir and simmer at least 5 minutes then add in the crushed tomatoes and reduce heat to low allowing to simmer until the beans are tender. Drain off most of the liquid from the beans when tender and add in the beef and sauce mixing well. Heat over medium high heat and bring to a gentle boil, add in the peanut butter, stirring to mix thoroughly. Return to a simmer until thick enough to hold up the spoon and serve piping hot with cornbread.