Chili with Beans Recipe


Serves: 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 hours


1 pound|454 grams pinto beans, preferably Rancho Gordo
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano 
3 bay leaves 
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 ancho chilies, stemmed
4 guajillo chilies, stemmed
2 chipotle chilies, stemmed
1 cup|250 ml chicken stock 
1 cup|250 ml coffee
¼ cup|60 ml white vinegar 
1 (12-ounce|375-ml) can beer
¼ cup|60 ml grapeseed oil
1 pound|454 grams ground beef 
5 poblanos, medium diced 
1 onion, medium diced 
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced 
6 ounces|170 grams tomato paste 
½ cup|95 grams dark brown sugar 
¼ cup|25 grams sweet paprika 
½ tablespoon toasted ground cumin 
coarsely shredded cheddar cheese, to serve
sour cream or crema, to serve
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2 avocados, diced
Frito’s and saltines, to serve


In a large saucepan, cover the beans, oregano, and bay leaves with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the beans are soft but not blown out, about 2 hours. Cut the heat, season with salt, and set aside. Heat the oven to 350°F. Lay the chilies on a sheet tray in an even layer and toast until fragrant and crisp but not burnt, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender with the chicken stock, coffee, vinegar, and beer and purée until smooth. Set aside.Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper and, working in batches with small handfuls, sear the beef until golden all over, about 5 minutes per batch.Transfer the beef to a plate and break into smaller pieces. Keep aside until ready to use.Add the poblanos and onion to the saucepan and season with salt. Cook until the onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more, then add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until the tomato paste is a deep, brick red, about 5 minutes (some burnt pieces are okay and will add depth to your finished product). Cut off the heat and add in the sugar, cumin, and paprika and “wake up” the spices: move spices around in the pot with no heat with the onions, poblanos, garlic, and tomato paste until the spices are nice and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the beans and 1 cup|250 ml of its cooking liquid into the saucepan (saving any remaining cooking liquid to adjust at the end), all of the chili pureé, and the beef. Scrape the fond off the bottom of the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust the consistency to your liking by adding in more of the reserved bean liquid. Season with salt and pepper and divide among plates. Top with cheese, sour cream, scallions, and avocado and serve with the Frito’s and saltines. 

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