Recipe for Mexican inspired slow cooked Beef Chilli

5-6 dried chile peppers (I use a mix of guajillo, negro, and New Mexico red)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 Tbsp instant espresso (or 4 Tbsp leftover brewed strong coffee)
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp tomato paste
3 large garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
2 900g pieces of flat-cut beef brisket, extra fat trimmed, each piece cut into 4 quarters
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
Vegetable oil (or other neutral oil: rice bran, grapeseed, canola, etc.)
1 340ml bottle beer (dark ale, or your choice)
400g canned chopped tomato
1 Tbsp oregano
1-1/2 cup cooked (or canned) black beans
2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, to taste
2 limes, cut into wedges

How to
Tear the dried chile peppers into several pieces, and discard most of the seeds. Add the pieces to a small saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; then, turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let sit for 10 minutes until the peppers soften.

Transfer the peppers and liquid to a blender, along with the Worcestershire, cumin, cloves, espresso, cocoa powder, brown sugar, tomato paste and garlic cloves. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

In a nonstick frying pan, heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Sprinkle the pieces of meat with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides. (Note: if you have a Ninja Cooking System or other slow cooker with a stovetop insert, you can do this right in the slow cooker.) Remove the meat to a bowl, and set aside.

To a 5- or 6-litre slow cooker, add the onions, meat, and the chile sauce from the blender. Pour in the beer, chopped tomato and Mexican oregano.

Cook on LOW for 6 hours.

Remove the meat to a large bowl, and shred each piece with 2 forks. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, and stir in the black beans and balsamic vinegar. Uncover the slow cooker, raise the heat to HIGH, and cook for 1 hour to bring all of the flavors together and reduce the liquid by half.

Taste, and adjust seasoning with more salt, black pepper, brown sugar or balsamic vinegar.

Serve hot with lime wedges on the side (don’t skip the lime) and chopped avocado or guacamole on top, or let cool completely and refrigerate to serve the next day. Or, pack into airtight containers and freeze.

Recipe provided by The Perfect Pantry.
All text and photographs copyright Lydia Walshin 2006-2010 – licensed under Creative Commons.

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