Toasting the peppers for this chili releases their earthy flavors – but do wear gloves when handling dried peppers and seeds. — Rachel Sprinkel, Hilo, Hawaii
- 1 whole garlic bulb
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 dried ancho chilies
- 2 dried chipotle chilies
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer
- 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Shredded cheddar cheese, optional
- Preheat oven to 425°. Remove papery outer skin from garlic bulb, but do not peel or separate the cloves. Cut off top of garlic bulb, exposing individual cloves. Brush cut cloves with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap in foil. Bake 30-35 minutes or until cloves are soft. Unwrap and cool slightly. Squeeze garlic from skins; mash with a fork.
- Meanwhile, in a large dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast chilies on both sides until puffy, about 3-6 minutes. (Do not blacken.) Cool. Remove stems and seeds; coarsely chop chilies. Place in a small bowl; cover with beer. Let stand to soften, about 30 minutes.
- In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Brown beef in batches, adding additional oil if needed; transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker. In the skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir until tender. Add to beef.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients, mashed garlic and dried chilies mixture. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours or until meat is tender. If desired, serve with cheese. Yield: 14 servings (3-1/2 quarts).
Originally published as Spicy Cowboy Chil in Taste of Home February/March 2013
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