8 oz dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed
6 Ancho Chiles, Whole, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1 inch pieces
2-4 dried de arbol chiles, stemmed, seeded, and split into 2 pieces
3 Tbsp corn meal
2 tsp Oregano, Mediterranean
2 tsp Cumin, Ground
2 tsp Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Tomato Powder
2-1/2 Cups chicken broth, low sodium
2 medium onions, chopped
3 small jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tsp light molasses
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-1/2 lb blade or flat steak, 1/4 inch thick, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
6 oz mild lager beer
3 medium ears of corn on the cob
Combine 3 Tbsp salt, 4 quarts of water, and the pinto beans in a dutch oven, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let sit for one hour. Drain beans and rinse well.
Adjust an oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300°F. Place the ancho chiles in a 12 inch skillet set over medium high heat, and toast, stirring frequently, until the chile flesh is fragrant, 4-6 minutes, reducing heat if they begin to smoke. Transfer toasted chiles to food processor and cool. Do not wash skillet.
Add de arbol chiles, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa, and 1/2 tsp salt to the food processor along with the toasted ancho chiles; process until mixture is finely ground, about 2 minutes. With the food processor running, slowly add the chicken broth until a smooth paste forms, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of the food processor bowl as needed. Transfer paste to a bowl.
Place the onions in the empty food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, about 4 pulses. Add the jalapeño and pulse until mixture has the consistency of a chunky salsa, about 4 more pulses, scraping bowl as needed.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion-jalapeno mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture has evaporated and vegetables have softened, 7-9 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the homemade chile paste, tomatoes, and molasses. Stir until mixture is thoroughly combined. Add the remaining 2 Cups of chicken broth and the drained, soaked beans. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in the 12 inch skillet over medium-heat until surface of oil is shimmering. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp salt. Add half of the beef to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to dutch oven.
Add half of the beer to skillet and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and bringing the liquid to a simmer. Transfer to dutch oven. Repeat process with remaining oil, beef, and beer. Stir to combine in Dutch oven and bring mixture back up to a simmer.
Cover the pot and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook at 300°F until meat and beans are fully tender, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Near the end of the baking time, put 3 ears of corn on a hot grill and cook until done and some the kernels are starting to blacken. Cut the corn off the cob and add the roasted kernels to the chili pot.
Allow the chili stand, uncovered, for 10 minute. Stir well, season with salt to taste and serve.
This recipe comes from customer Anna K. of Ankeny, Iowa and it won 3rd Place at our 2018 Iowa State Fair Chili Contest!