Beef and Three Bean Chili


2 Tablespoons Cumin Seeds
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Paprika
2 Teaspoons Oregano -- Dried
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper (Cayenne) -- Ground
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Pound Beef, trimmed, cut in 1/2-inch chunks
3 Onions -- Chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper -- Chopped
6 Cloves Garlic -- Finely Chopped
2 Jalapeno, Seeded -- Finely Chopped
8 Sun Dried Tomatoes , Snipped -- Small Pieces
2 Dried Ancho Chiles, Seeded -- Snipped Into
12 Ounces Dark Beer
1 28 Oz Can Plum Tomatoes with juices
1 Tablespoon Chocolate -- Grated/Unsweetened
1 Teaspoon Sugar (or to taste)
2 Bay Leaves
1 15 Oz Can Kidney Beans
1 15 Oz Can Great Northern Beans
1 15 Oz Can Black Beans
1/4 Cup Cilantro -- Chopped Fresh
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper


In this chili, a little beef goes a long way, slowly simmered with the magic combination of toasted spices, ancho chiles, sun-dried tomatoes and a touch of chocolate. Black, Kidney and great northern beans round out the dish. In a small dry skillet, toast cumin seeds over medium heat, stirring, until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder; grind to a fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl; add chili powder, paprika, oregano and ground red pepper. Stir to combine; set aside. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add beef, in batches if necessary, and saute until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Lower heat to medium, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add onions and green peppers. Cook, stirring, until the onions have softened and are golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos, dried tomatoes, anchos, if using, the reserved spice mixture. Stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Pour in beer, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, scraping up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Add canned tomatoes and their juices, chocolate, sugar, bay leaves and the reserved beef. Pour in 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the beef is very tender. Drain and rinse kidney beans, great northern beans and black beans, add to the pot and cook until the chili is thick, 30 to 45 minutes more. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper (The chili can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks). Makes about 10 cups, serves 8.

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