Stefano's Tex-Mex Chili

Made with stewing beef, pinto beans and ancho peppers, this cowboy-style chili is meaty, smoky and a little spicy!


1 to 2 dried ancho chile peppers or substitute chipotle, pasillo or New Mexican chile
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup brewed coffee
2 1/2 cups good quality beef stock
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 (19 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Chopped green onion, for garnishing
Crumbled cooked bacon, for garnishing
Sliced fresh jalapeno, for garnishing
Sour cream, for garnishing
Grated cheddar cheese, for garnishing
Hot sauce, for serving


In a small fry pan over medium heat, dry toast ancho chile until fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes. Chop and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, add oil. When oil is hot, add stewing meat and season with salt and pepper. Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Brown well on both sides, about 10 minutes.

Add onions and garlic, cumin, cinnamon and oregano. Cook, stirring, until onions start to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add coffee, stock, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves and chopped ancho chile. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let chili simmer covered, for 1 hour. Add beans. Continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender and chili is thick, about 1 hour more, depending on size of stewing beef. Taste and adjust for seasoning. (Total cook time for chili is about 2 hours).

Plate chili and garnish with green onions, bacon, jalapeno, sour cream and cheese. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings.