Recipe: Five-Alarm Chili

By on October 29, 2012 in Recipes with 9 Comments

This recipe is very aptly named. Not only is it is loaded with enough spice to call in the fire department, but the spice comes from 5 different sources: jalapeno, chipotle in adobo, chili powder, cayenne, and ancho.

I’ll admit I chickened out a little when making this recipe and toned down the quantities os spice some. The resulting chili had a complex spice flavor, but didn’t stimulate my tear ducts. Don’t get me wrong, I like my chili spicy. But the amount of spice seemed so excessive I felt a little moderation was called for.

In addition to spice, Five-Alarm Chili is further flavored by beer. And I’ll warn you, you don’t want to use Yuppie Beer here. Any kind of dark, or strongly flavored beer, can make the chili taste bitter. Plain ole beer, aka Budweiser, is perfect for chili. Crushed tortilla chips really help thicken the chili up and give it a corn flavored taste, similar to the taste achieved by adding masa.

This chili goes wonderfully with Honey Cornbread.  Likewise, a little sour cream or avocado can help tame the heat of the chili.

Five-Alarm Chili

  • 2 ounces died ancho chiles (4 to 6) stems and seeds removed and flesh torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup crushed corn tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (I used about 4 peppers which almost filled up 1/4 cup measure cup and I added adobo sauce to fill the cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds 85% lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds onion, chopped fine (I used 2 medium-sized onions)
  • 2 jalapeno chilis, stemmed, seeds reserved, and minced (I just used 1)
  • 6 cloves garlic (I used 4)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  •  1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 1/2 cups beer (I used Budweiser)
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed
  1. Combine ancho chilis and 1 1/2 cup water in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until softened, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Drain and discard liquid.
  2. Place ancho chilis, tomatoes and their juice, remaining 2 cups water, tortilla chips, and chipotle in adobo sauce in a blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven until oil starts to smoke. Add ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and cook until well-browned, breaking into pieces with spoon, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain meat in a colander and set aside.
  4. Heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil in Dutch oven and add onions and jalapenos with seeds. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until onion is nicely browned. Stir in garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, sugar, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Pour in beer and bring to a simmer. Add in beans, ancho-tomato mixture, and beef and return to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 50 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Recipe Source: Cook’s Country August/September 2012

Linking up at Sweet Bella Roos

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There Are 9 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Rufus says:

    Cornbread and Chili…Yum.

  2. I LOVE spice! This chili sounds perfect. I’m traveling this weekend, but it would be perfect to make if I get home early enough on Sunday! Thank you for posting!!

  3. barbara says:

    You inspired me the other night with this chili reicpe. I used what my kitchen had so deviated from beer to tequila! Went with a pinto/black/garbanzo bean mixture & pork loin with the beef. Much Thanks. Hubby said it was possibly my best chili yet! Go AnchoChiles!! My fav.

    • Christin M says:

      The ancho chilies really add amazing flavor don’t they? I may never be able to make chili without them again. Your chili sounds delicious! Tequila sounds like a great sub. Let me know if you ever want to share a recipe on the blog. I love learning from other people.

      • barbara says:

        I’d love that!
        I just adore the scent of that smoky flavor in these dried ancho chiles I have….always forgetting to use them. I soaked one in hot water and added all the liquid to our chili the following day when reheating. First night i only tossed a piece of the chile in the pot and lucky hub got that bite. HaHa.

  4. Michelle says:

    Now I am totally intrigued. I love homemade chili and this one sounds amazing! I like it hot but my family doesn’t. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share this week! Have a wonderful week.

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