|Historic Rimrock Ranch Cabins, Pioneertown CA|
My entry this year was named by my son and his friends. "Thunderpaw Chili" is named after the powerful paw punch of our 130 pound puppy, Jake Thunderpaw. While we didn't win, we had a great time tasting chili and I perfected this new recipe. I recommend doubling the recipe if you plan to feed a crowd. I transferred mine to crock pot to keep it warm once it was done.
3 guajillo chiles
2 pasilla chiles
2-3 c boiling water
3 slices lean bacon, chopped
2 lbs boneless tri-tip or chuck steak, cut into 1/2 cubes
2 tbls oil
2 c. white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbls chili powder
1 tbls cayenne or ground chili
1 tbls ground cumin
1 tbls dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tbls black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 can petite diced tomatoes in juice
12 oz stout beer (I use Aztec Brewery's "Noche de Los Muertos")
1 c. beef broth
1 tbls fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Chiles - Toast chiles in a skillet over medium heat, turning often, until puffed up and blistered, 2-3 minutes. Once cooled, cut in half, remove and discard stems, cores and seeds. In a bowl, hydrate chilies by covering them with boiling water. Set them aside to soak.
2. Meat - Cook down bacon in large Dutch oven or chili pot over medium-high heat. Transfer to a paper towel to soak up grease. Working in small batches, use bacon fat to brown beef (approx. 3 minutes on each side.) Add more oil as needed. Transfer meat to a bowl.
3. Chile sauce - In a blender, combine softened chiles and 1/2 cup soaking liquid into a blender; puree.
4. Season - Remove any excess oil from the pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, stirring often. Stir in cumin, oregano, bay leaf, pepper, salt, chili powder and cayenne powder. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Add chile puree and raise heat to medium-high, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring.
5. Simmer - Return all meat to the pot. Add tomatoes, beer, and beef broth. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce to medium-high heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 1-1/4 hours. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes, or until sauce is thick and meat is tender. Discard bay leaf, stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve.
* Garnish Suggestions - fresh cilantro, dried oregano, chopped scallions, mild crumbly Mexican cheese (panela or cotija), avocado