So sue us for watching the Food Network and being inspired to make a Lamb Chili from one of Bobby Flay's shows. I blamed my husband until I tasted the chili and decided the Food Network wasn't so bad...this time. We decided to use our own dried chiles and toast them in the lamb fat, instead of adding flavor with the various chili powders suggested, which I believe made all the difference. (A technique I wish we could take credit for, but it all goes to the Lee Bros. and their Russwood Circle Chili Recipe in the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook). (Serves 8)
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 2.5 lbs lamb from the leg, boned and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 1/2 large red onion, finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup dark beer
- 1 16-oz. can whole tomatoes, drained and pureed
- 1 T chipotle in adobo
- 2 dried ancho and/or pasilla chiles, seeded and torn into 2 inch pieces
- 1 T ground cumin
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups black beans from a can
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cilantro, Avocado, Queso Fresco, Sour Cream, lime juice, if desired on top
- (If you'd like to use chili powders instead of dried chilis, it calls for 3 T of ancho and 1 T of pasilla chili powder)
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the lamb, season with salt and pepper, and cook until seared and brown on all sides. Remove the lamb to a plate with a slotted spoon.
2. Add the ancho/pasilla chile pieces and toast in the lamb fat, about 30 seconds. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
3. Add the onions and the garlic to the pan and cook until soft. Remove and place in a food processor with the toasted chiles. Chop until diced finely and return all contents to the pot.
4. Add the tomatoes, chipotle in adobo, cumin and chicken stock, stir well and simmer for 45 minutes.
5. Add the beans and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve over tortilla chips and top with cilantro, avocado, queso fresco, hot sauce, sour cream, lime juice, etc! Enjoy!