Author Notes: 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?! —LE BEC FIN
- 4-4.2 pounds 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.
- 1/2 pound 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
- 6 medium yellow onions, halved, peeled and smoked 2 hours at 250 degrees F and chopped(to equal 6 cups)
- 3 medium carrots,chopped
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 8 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chile powder ,good quality
- 1 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin seed
- 3 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
- 6 ounces tomato paste,mixed with 2 cups hot water
- 4 cups beef stock
- 12 ounces Sam Adams Honey Porter (less bitter than stout etc.)
- 1/4 cup pureed chipotles in adobo ***(if seeds, remove before pureeing chiles with their sauce)
- 4 15-18 ounce cans of Southwest and/or Cuban flavored black and/or pinto beans
- 1 15-18 ounce can Goya Pink Beans
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 5 cups sweet corn, raw fresh or raw frozen
- 3 cups thickest sour cream
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons lime zest, minced
- kosher salt to taste
- chopped cilantro (that has been soaked and dried)
- 2 teaspoons mix of dried oregano, thyme and toasted ground cumin (for use if you only have plain unseasoned canned beans)
- For chili: 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.
- 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.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chili