Southwest Chili from Albuquerque, NM

Al Smith


I lived in Albuquerque for 17 years. It is high desert and has the highest elevation of any major US city, 6700 ft at the Sandia foothills. This recipe is for real chili in the New Mexico sense. It does not contain beans. Beans absorb the flavors intended for the meat and broth. Also some people have gastric issues with beans. But I always serve a pot of Pinto beans on the side, plain or seasoned, starting from dried beans. This recipe is very hot.

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1 Hr


2 Hr 30 Min


5 lb
clod roast (or lean chuck or top round) cut into 1/4 to 3/8-inch cubes
1 1/2 Tbsp
7 cloves of minced garlic
10 Tbsp
peanut oil (or kidney suet)
3 1/2 c
onions, finely diced, (4 or 5 spanish)
1/2 c
3 -ounce bottle chili powder
3 1/2 Tbsp
ground cumin (1/3 cup)
1 Tbsp
oregano, fresh
1 Tbsp
brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp
kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp
black pepper
2 Tbsp
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
4 oz
can of green chilis or seeded, finely chopped,
15 oz
1/2 can of tomato sauce, 6 oz can tomato paste
15 oz
can of beef broth
1 tsp
cayenne pepper
12 oz
chicken broth (or beef broth)
1 tsp
vanilla extract
2 small
chocolate, dove squares
1 1/2 oz
shot of tequila (optional)
optional: 1 or 2 poblanos, seeded and sliced

Directions Step-By-Step

Saute meat with half of garlic in 5 tablespoons oil until browned, after browning go for 5 more minutes, then go for 2 more minutes.
Saute onion separately in remaining 5 tablespoons oil until tender but not browned.
Add onion to meat, than add chili powder, oregano,brown sugar, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper if using. Simmer 10 minutes.
Add green clili, beef broth, tomato sauce/tomato paste, cayenne to taste, beer,(and if using Tequila and 2 sliced poblano chilis).
Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours until meat is very tender but not mushy. Chili will be soupy at first then thicken as cooks.
Note: Do not skim off excess grease while it cooks. It is necessary for flavor.
Uncover for last half hour. Add cumin, chocolate (2 small squares)and vanilla. Stir frequently and do not allow chili to stick to pot.
Add beer or water as needed. When finished cooking, skim off any excess grease. Makes 1 gallon or 12 to 16 servings.
Suggestions: Serve with pinto beans, Indian fry bread, corn bread, or browned corn tortllas.
Toppings: chopped green onions, chopped Haas avocado, shredded mild cheddar, sour cream (or creme fraiche).

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Beef Soups, Other Soups, Chili
Regional Style: Mexican