I am a sucker for anything smoked, so if you have the time and the smoker, go for it! But this is also delicious without smoking the beef or vegetables. I like the variety of textures with the silky shredded beef, toothsome beans, corn, and sausage, and the interplay of tart tomatoes with sweet , spicy , hot ,and smoky. This is not a very hot dish, but if you're worried about it, go easy on the chipotle, and you can always add in the full amount after cooking and tasting.
The recipe was written with large amounts for the smoked version (if you're going to go to all that trouble, you may as well make alot for leftovers!) but it can be easily scaled down proportionately.
Isn't it fun that chiles,tomatoes, corn and these particular beans - are all native to the Americas?! —LeBec Fin
beef chuck roast ,brined for a minimum of 4 hour and smoked about 3-4 hours at 250 degrees F, then cooled and cut into 1" cubes.
Portuguese chorizo,cut into 1/4 " slices, then cut in half into crescents
1/4- 3/4 cups
bacon fat and any leftover chorizo fat
medium yellow onions, halved, peeled and smoked 2 hours at 250 degrees F and chopped(to equal 6 cups)
large cloves garlic, minced
chile powder ,good quality
toasted and ground cumin seed
28 ounce cans of imported Italian whole plum tomatoes (Pastene are excellent); drained and chopped or drained and smoked 2 hours at 250 degrees F, then chopped
Reserved canned tomato juices and possibly more
tomato paste,mixed with 2 cups hot water
Sam Adams Honey Porter (less bitter than stout etc.)
pureed chipotles in adobo ***(if seeds, remove before pureeing chiles with their sauce)
15-18 ounce cans of Southwest and/or Cuban flavored black and/or pinto beans
15-18 ounce can Goya Pink Beans
sweet corn, raw fresh or raw frozen
thickest sour cream
fresh lime juice
lime zest, minced
kosher salt to taste
chopped cilantro (that has been soaked and dried)
mix of dried oregano, thyme and toasted ground cumin (for use if you only have plain unseasoned canned beans)
If preparing the smoked version of this chili, smoke meat and vegetables, using hickory chips and restocking fuel and chips as needed.**
Otherwise, cut and chop meat and vegetables as described.
Over medium heat, saute chorizo til fat is rendered, about 10 minutes.Remove chorizo from pan. Add some bacon fat to pan and over medium hot heat, sautee onion, carrot and garlic for 5 minutes (longer if onions have not been smoked); add celery for another few minutes. Add chili powder and cumin and cook over medium heat 3-5 minutes. (If you only have plain/unseasoned canned beans for later, add 2 teaspoons of a dried oregano/thyme/cumin mix to this saute.)Add more bacon fat if needed to keep mixture from sticking too much. Add beer to deglaze, stirring up/scraping bottom of pan with straight edged implement to get up all the seasonings.
If using smoked beef, pulse a few batches of smoked cubed beef in food processor to coarsely shred; add to pot of vegetables. Otherwise, saute cubed beef in medium hot bacon fat til seared and then add to pot, with all its beef juices. Add the cooked chorizo. Add tomato juices, stock, chipotle and more tomatoes and juices as needed. Partially cover, bring to boil, and simmer 1-2 hours until meat is mostly tender.
Add cornmeal and mix thoroughly. Add beans and corn and simmer 1/2 hour. Taste and add seasoning and/or stock or tomato juices to have the balance you like between liquid and solids.If adding ingredients, simmer another 15 minutes.
Flavors improve after a day or more of refrigeration. Serve hot and topped with lime crema.
At least 4 hours before serving, combine sour cream, lime juice, zest and salt. Refrigerate
* If seasoning were to be too hot for you, you could counter that with more corn or peeled cubed buttercup squash that has been roasted til near tender.
**Double up 2 disposable aluminum sheet pans (11 x 17 ") or other aluminum pans; riddle them w/ holes made with a strong skewer, and place tomatoes next to onions.(This hole-poking is easiest to do on top of a cookie rack or grill grates, or over the smoker grates before it is started.)
Smoke onions and tomatoes next to the beef 2 hours. Chop tomatoes( keep any juices) and onions.
*** pureed chipotles freeze well. For future recipes, just use a fork to scrape out the amount you need.
My eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, cardamom, and GARLIC! I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse review it and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.