- 6 large russet potatoes (about 3 pounds), scrubbed
- 1 1/4 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 scallions (white and green), minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 canned chipotle chile in adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon of their sauce
- 4 canned whole, peeled tomatoes, drained
- 1 pound ground beef chuck
- One 15 1/2-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- One 12-ounce Mexican lager-style beer
- 1 scallion (white and green), minced
- Sour cream for garnish
To make the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Set the potatoes directly on the rack in the center of the oven and bake until easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, make the chili: Preheat a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and salt, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the ancho chile, oregano, cumin, coriander, and cloves and cook, stirring, until dark and fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the tomato paste and chipotle. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes while adding them to the saucepan and cook, stirring, until the chipotle and tomato mixture is dark red, about 2 minutes. Add the beef, break it up with a wooden spoon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned, about 3 minutes. Add the beans and beer and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Lay the potatoes on the side they naturally roll to, and carefully cut a shallow oval out of the tops to make 6 lids. Gently scrape most of the potato pulp out of the lids and transfer to a large bowl. Reserve the lids. Carefully scoop out the insides from only 4 of the potatoes into the large bowl, leaving the shells intact. Scoop out the pulp from the remaining 2 potatoes into a small bowl and reserve for another use. (See Cook's Note.) Add 1/2 cup of the cheese, butter, salt, and scallion to the large bowl of pulp and mash lightly with a fork. Season with pepper, to taste. Lightly season the insides of the shells and lids with salt and pepper. Refill them with the potato mixture, pressing it into the bottom and against the sides.
Set the filled potatoes on a baking sheet and fill each to the brim with some of the chili, mounding as much as you can on top (you'll need the rest for later). Mound the remaining 3/4 cup cheese over the potatoes. Place the potato lids skin-side down on the baking sheet. Bake until heated through and the cheese has melted and browned, about 12 minutes. Reheat the remaining chili. Transfer the stuffed potatoes to a serving platter and top each with a dollop of sour cream. Lean the potato lids against the sour cream and serve immediately, with the chili on the side for refills.
Cook?s Note: When we mashed up all of the potato's pulp and stuffed it back in the spuds there wasn't any room for the chili. Do you want that? We didn't think so. That's why we only mash up four of the insides and use the rest for hash browns or croquettes.
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