Chile Chili


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

Instead of rehydrating the chiles and tomatoes, blending, and straining, you can use 3 cups (720 ml) chili base (this page) and skip to the beef browning step.


  • 4 ounces (115 g) guajillo and/or New Mexico chiles (about 16), stemmed and snipped into pieces with scissors
  • 3 to 6 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed, or more, if you’d like more heat
  • 1 ancho chile, stemmed and seeded (optional)
  • ½ cup (30 g) sun-dried tomatoes, or 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups (960 ml) boiling water
  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) beef for stew
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (12-ounce/360-ml) bottle of beer
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (see Note)
  • 2 morilla chiles (smoke-dried red jalapeños) (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons (45 g) masa harina, or more, if needed



Shake out as many of the guajillo seeds as possible (but don’t lose your mind over it). Put the guajillo chiles, chiles de árbol, ancho chile, if using, and tomatoes in a blender and pour the boiling water over them. Let soak for at least 10 minutes, until the chiles are softened. Puree until very smooth. Set a fine-mesh sieve over the slow cooker and pour in the chile puree, pushing the puree and liquid through with a spatula; discard the bits of skin and seeds in the sieve.

In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. When it shimmers, add one-third of the beef and cook until browned on one or more sides, 3 to 5 minutes total, then scrape into the cooker and repeat with the remaining oil and beef. Return the skillet to high heat and pour in the beer, scraping up any browned bits. Boil the beer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes, then pour into the cooker. Add the chili powder, morilla chiles, if using, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.


Ladle a bit of the liquid into a small bowl and whisk in the masa harina, then stir the mixture back into the chili. If you’d like a thicker stew, repeat with more masa harina. Season with more salt, if needed. Serve, removing and discarding the morilla chiles, if you’d like.