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Chili with Guajillo and Ancho Chiles and Hominy

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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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Make Ahead

The chili can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently.

Suggested Pairing

Zinfandel's berry fruit and briary spice make it a natural partner for chili—it's an unpretentious wine for an unpretentious food. California, particularly Sonoma County, is the world's source for great Zinfandel.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published December 2009

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