Chili Con Carne

Recipe Date: December 11, 2022
Difficulty: Medium
Measurements: Imperial (US)

This allbeef chili kicks the beans to the curb. And if you think chili is boring, guess again… using three types of chiles to gives this dish the same amount of layered complexity found in the Commander Zinskey Zinfandel.


  • 5 pounds well-trimmed boneless beef chuck (from about 6 pounds), cut into ½-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 dried pasilla ancho chiles
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 dried chipotle chiles
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 10 large garlic cloves, peeled, trimmed and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 4 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3 cups tomato puree
  • 1 medium 100% corn tortilla
  • Finely sliced green onions
  • Finely sliced cabbage
  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Shredded sharp cheddar (optional)


1. Season the cubed meat with 2 tablespoons salt. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Break or cut off stem end of chiles. Shake out seeds. Heat a cast iron or heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium high heat. Toast chiles until they are aromatic and crisp. Cool.

3. Break or use scissors to cut up chiles. Soak in 2 cups water for 1 hour. Purée.

4. Heat oil in large pot over mediumhigh heat. Cook onions and garlic until browned, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.

5. Add cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, bay leaves and cinnamon stick and continue to cook until fragrant.

6. Add chile purée, diced tomatoes, tomato puree and 2 cups water. Add the meat to the pot and bring to a boil.

7. Lay corn tortilla over the top. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer gently until beef is tender, about 2 1/2 hours or 12 hours on high in slow cooker.

8. Add water to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt.

9. The chili may be cooled overnight in refrigerator and then reheated on the stove top or served immediately.

10. Divide chili among bowls. Top with garnishes and serve.