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America’s Test Kitchen Food Processor Perfection Cookbook Home-Ground Beef Chili Recipe


  • 2.5 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed, and cut into 1/2 in pieces
  • 6 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-in pieces (1.5 c)
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 c tortilla chips, crushed
  • 2 T ground cumin
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, cut into 1-n pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 t minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 2 c water
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans
  • 2 t sugar
  • 2 T cider vinegar


  1. Arrange beef in single layer in rimmed baking sheet and freeze until very firm and starting to harden around edges but still pliable, about 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place anchos in Dutch oven set over medium-high heat and toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, reducing heat if anchos begin to smoke; set aside.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda evenly over meat. Working in 6 batches, pulse beef in food processor until finely ground into 1/16-in pieces, about 20 pulses, stopping to redistribute meat as needed; transfer to bowl.
  4. Add anchos, tortilla chips, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, coriander, oregano, thyme, 11/2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper to now-empty processor and process until finely ground, about 2 minutes; set aside.
  5. Pulse onion and garlic in again-empty processor until finely chopped, about 8 pulses; set aside. Process tomatoes and their juice in again-empty processor until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  6. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Heat oil in now-empty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until browned and fond begins to form on pot bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Add ancho mixture and chipotle and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in water, beans and their liquid, sugar, and tomatoes. Bring to boil, scraping bottom of pot to loosen any browned bits. Cover, transfer pot to oven, and cook until meat is tender and chili is slightly thickened, 11/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  8. Remove chili from oven and let sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in any fat that has risen to top of chili, then add vinegar and season with salt to taste. Serve.
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