I always try to push myself to try something new in the kitchen and working with dried peppers has always been tempting. I’ve seen them in the produce aisle in plastic packaging just waiting to be reconstituted but never had a good reason to try them.
I’ve seen chefs transform those withered, lifeless forms into beautiful crimson bases for sauces and stews and finally decided I would give it a try. I picked up some fairly mild Guajillo peppers to blend with smokey chipotles in adobo sauce in a can as the base for my chili.
To go with this chili, I made Pumpkin Honey Cornbread with Guajillo Chiles and Bacon. This slightly sweet, smokey cornbread recipe was just too good to not include in it’s own post.
I found working with dried chiles very easy and can definitely see incorporating them into more recipes in the future. If you’re working with them for the first time, they will need to have the seeds removed and be reconstituted in hot water and stock but it is so worth the extra effort.
In addition to the guajillo and chipotle peppers, I roasted some poblanos and red and yellow bell peppers on the grill. This can also be done in the broiler.
The chile peppers add complexity to the chili and the chipotles in adobo and a rich, smokiness. Cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder help round out the flavors in this perfect cool-weather dish.
Chipotle Venison Chili with Roasted Poblanos and Guajillo Chiles
- 1 Dried Guajillo Chile Pepper
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Medium Yellow Onions
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
- 3 Poblano Peppers
- 1 Chipotle Pepper + 1 Tbsp Adobo Sauce
- 1 Lb Stew Meat (I used venison)
- 1 Lb Ground Meat (I used venison)
- 1 Cup Black Beans
- 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup Barbecue Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
To get started, turn the broiler on or heat your grill on high. Place a large, heavy pot or dutch oven on the stovetop on medium heat. In a smaller pot, heat 1 cup of the chicken stock on high until it simmers. Take the dried guajillo chile pepper and cut the stem off. Run your knife along the center of the pepper and remove the seeds. Place in a bowl and pour the hot stock over, covering completely. Let the chile sit for 20-25 minutes until softened.
Place the red and yellow bell peppers on a pan and place under the broiler or place directly on the grill, turning occasionally until the skin is charred. Once the skin is black, remove the peppers from the heat and place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap.
Add the olive oil to the large pot or dutch oven and season the stew meat with salt and pepper. Add the stew meat in an even, single layer to the bottom of the pot. Let the stew meat sit without touching it until seared on the bottom then turn over and brown the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions to the pan and allow them to turn translucent then add the ground meat. Once the meat is brown, add the beans, tomatoes, barbecue sauce, remaining chicken stock, cumin, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Add the stew meat back to the pot.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, removed the charred skin and slice into small chunks. Add the peppers to the pot.
Place the guajillo chili, stock and garlic in a blender along with the chipotle and adobo sauce and blend until smooth. Stir in this mixture with the rest of the ingredients.
Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for an hour and half. Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips and cheese.