Three-Chile Beef Chili


With coffee, dark beer, smoky bacon and three kinds of chiles, this is one deep, rich, spicy pot of beef chili. Slideshows:  Chili Recipes 

Three-Chile Beef Chili
Photo: © Fredrika Stjärne
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
8 to 10


  • 2 ancho chiles

  • 2 dried New Mexico chiles

  • 3 dried chipotle chile

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted

  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, toasted

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 2 whole garlic cloves, plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • Three 14.5-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes, drained

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 6 ounces meaty bacon, diced (1 cup)

  • 6 cups chicken stock

  • 2 cups stout beer

  • 2 cups brewed coffee

  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips

  • 8 cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped

  • Kosher salt

  • Three 15-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained


  1. In a heatproof bowl, cover the chiles with boiling water and let stand until softened, 15 minutes; drain. Stem and seed the chiles and transfer to a blender. Add the coriander, cumin, mustard seeds, thyme, garlic cloves and one-third of the tomatoes; puree.

  2. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add half of the ground beef and brown over moderately high heat, about 2 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate. Repeat with the remaining ground beef.

  3. Add the onion and bacon to the pot and cook until the onion is golden. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beef and chile puree and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the stock, beer, coffee, tortilla chips, cilantro and remaining tomatoes and season with salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over moderate heat for 1 hour. Add the beans and cook uncovered for 1 hour. Season the chili with salt.

Make Ahead

The chili can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serve With

Sour cream, grated cheddar and tortilla chips.

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