This was what we made for Super Bowl Sunday, and it was incredibly delicious. The brisket was perfect. This was an unusual chili, because it had the addition of butternut squash. I’d never had that before. Eating a vegetable in the chili made me feel a little better, I suppose. 🙂 This came from the October 2008 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.
6 large dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely torn
6 ounces of bacon, chopped
1 1/4 pounds onions, chopped
1 (5 pound) first cut beef brisket, cut into cubes
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano, Mexican if you have it
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 (15 ounce) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 (12 ounce) bottle of Mexican beer
1 (7 ounce) can diced roasted green chilies
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into chunks
Chopped red onion
Place dried chiles in a medium bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let stand until they soften, at least 30 minutes, up to four hours.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Saute bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crispy. Add onion. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle beef cubes with salt and pepper. Add to pot; stir to coat. Set aside.
Drain chiles, reserving the soaking liquid. Place chiles in blender. Add 1 cup soaking liquid, garlic, spices, and 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Blend to puree, adding more soaking liquid in 1/4 cupfuls if very thick. Pour puree over brisket in the Dutch oven. Add tomatoes with their juices, beer, green chiles, and cilantro stems. Stir to coat evenly.
Bring chili to a simmer. Cover and place in oven. Cook 2 hours. Uncover and cook until beef is almost tender, about 1 more hour. Add squash chunks. Stir to coat. Roast uncovered until beef and squash are tender, adding more soaking liquid if needed to keep the meat covered, about 45 minutes longer. Season chili to taste with salt and pepper. Tilt pot and spoon off any fat on the surface (or use a turkey baster, that worked well).
Ladle chili into bowls and serve with whatever garnishes you prefer. Enjoy!