Every year our Unitarian church has a chile cookoff fundraiser. This year I just could not get excited about making chile until I thought about smoking the beef. I realized that one of my favorite recipes is a riff I do on Rick Bayless' Tinga Poblana(Authentic Mexican p. 248) where I smoke the pork and use winter squash instead of potatoes. So I ended up adapting a Bon Appetit recipe for Chipotle Beef Chile w/ Lime Crema, after reading the many helpful reviews/comments included in the Epicurious.com recipe posting. AFTER the items were smoked , it took me 4 hours to complete this dish, so it IS a lot of work, but that's only because I made so much of it- 9 qts. I thought some CHs might enjoy it, or want to try a non smoked version. The contest is next week; let's see what they think, eh?!
SPICY SMOKED BEEF CHILE WITH CHIPOTLES AND 3 BEANS 9 quarts Served with Lime Crema
4.2 lb. beef chuck, in steaks form or lg. cubes, smoked 3-4 hours at 250 degrees
½ lb. Portuguese chorizo, sliced ( Spanish chorizo is too dry/tough for this; Mexican not right flavor)
¼- ½ c. bacon fat plus leftover chorizo fat
6 c. onions, chopped or : halved, peeled, and smoked 3-4 hours
at 250 degrees and chopped
3 med. Carrots, ch.
2 c. chopped celery (can include leaves)
8 lg. cloves garlic, minced
½ c. chile powder (general blend, not ancho or chipotle; should have strong chile flavor and not taste primarily of salt)
1 T. toasted ground cumin seed
3 28 ou. cans whole plum tomatoes, Pastene, drained and chopped or drained and
smoked 3-4 hours at 250 degrees and chopped
Tomato juices/sauce from cans
6 ou. Tomato paste mixed w/ 2 c. water
3 ½- 4 c. beef stock, or ½ c. beef demiglace melted in 3 c. water
12 ou. Bottle Sam Adams Honey Porter( less bitter that stout etc.)
¼ c. chipotle puree( canned chiptoles pureed w/ their adobo sauce)
More tomato- juice, sauce, puree, or chopped- to taste
3 cans Trader Joe’s Cuban Black Beans All beans can be substituted as you wish.
2 cans ‘Southwest Chile Beans’
1 can Goya Pink beans
½ c. cornmeal
5 c. cooked sweet corn- fresh or frozen( I like the texture and touch of sweetness corn adds)
Over low high heat, saute chorizo in a little bacon fat til most of its fat is rendered. Remove chorizo.
Add bacon fat to pan; sautee onion, carrot, celery, garlic til translucent- 5-10 min.
Add chile powder and cumin, stir well and cook over med. heat 3 min.
Add beer to deglaze, scraping up bottom of pan.
Cube beef, pulse in cuisinart to coarsely shred; add to pot.
Add tomatoes through more tomatoes. Bring to boil, partially cover, simmer 1 hour.
Add cornmeal , then beans and corn, and simmer ½ hour.
Flavors improve with aging. If too hot, add more tomato, beans, corn,
or cubed butternut or kabocha squash, roasted til half-tender.
Serve with plenty of lime crema.
* The liquid part of this is what you play with: how much tomato you like, how thick you like it etc.
Obviously, smoking the components is not required; I just find it worth the trouble. If you’re smoking things,you could substitute pork shoulder cut into steak form. If you’re not smoking, you could substitute pork loin or pork shoulder.
I would not substitute with chicken or turkey because they will dry out when cooked this long
(but maybe their thigh meat would work if the chile were cooked for a shorter time.).
3C. THICKEST SOUR CREAM or MEXICAN CREMA
4 T. FRESH LIME JUICE
2 T. LIME ZEST
Whisk together; season with salt. Refrigerate .
Make at least a few hours in advance so flavors can blend.