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Tres Chiles Beef Chili

This recipe makes 12 servings * adapted from an old Bon Appetit magazine*


  • 4 large or 6 medium ancho chiles
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 dried pasilla chiles
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into ½-inch slices
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped *good for keeping the flu away*
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried (Mexican) oregano
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups stock
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Toppings (sour cream, grated cheddar, lime wedges, cilantro, sliced avocado, pickled jalapeños, and don't forget Sabor de Salsita)


  • Remove seeds from ancho, guajillo, and pasilla chiles and place in a medium bowl. Pour in 3 cups boiling water and cover bowl; let sit until chiles are softened, 20–25 minutes. Transfer chiles and soaking liquid to a blender and blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute; set aside. *Careful touching your eyes after handling chile peppers. 

  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Season beef all over with salt and pepper. Working in 2–3 batches, cook, turning pieces once, until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

  • Reduce heat to medium; add onions and carrots to pot. Cook, stirring often to loosen browned bits from bottom of pot, until onions are translucent and very soft, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic, add cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, until spices start to stick to pot, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and scrape bottom of pot to loosen spices, then add your stock. Bring to a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, 10–15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, cut beef into ½" pieces, discarding any large bits of fat or gristle.

  • Add beef, reserved chile purée, and 2 cups water to pot; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, until liquid is thickened and meat is very tender, 1½–2 hours. Taste chili and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar. Add in more spicy peppers if it is not spicy enough for you... you can also pour in some Sabor de Salsita salsa to heat up the Chili. The flavors are better the next day!

    Divide chili among bowls and top as desired.

  • Do Ahead: Chili can be made 4 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat gently over low, stirring occasionally, and adding a splash of water to loosen if needed.