Butcher Tom Mylan of the Meat Hook in Brooklyn flavors his chili with three kinds of dried chiles: fruity guajillos, smoky anchos and a New Mexico chile. After he soaks the chiles in water to plump them, he blends them to form a silky puree, which gives the chili a complex flavor.
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8 guajillo chiles
2 ancho chiles
1 dried New Mexico chile
4 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground lamb
One 28-ounce can hominy
1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Break open the chiles and discard the stems and seeds. In a medium saucepan, cover the chiles with the water and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and remove from the heat. Let the chiles stand, stirring a few times, until very soft, about 1 hour. Working in batches, puree the chiles with their soaking liquid in a blender.
In a large pot, toast the cumin seeds over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the cumin seeds to a spice grinder and let cool completely. Grind the cumin seeds to a powder.
In the same pot, heat the oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the ground beef, pork and lamb and cook, breaking up the meat into coarse chunks, until starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the ground cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chile puree and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Stir the hominy and its liquid into the chili. Gradually stir in the cornmeal. Simmer, stirring, until thickened, 5 minutes. Season the chili with salt and pepper and serve.
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