Mexitana Ancho-Lamb Chili
- 3 yellow onions, diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
- 8 to 10 medium-sized fresh ancho chiles, fire roasted to remove skins, then diced
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons annato seed paste
- 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground Saigon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 pounds lamb stew meat
- 16 ounces good quality beer
- 8 cups lamb stock (if you don't have access to lamb stock, a good rich beef stock will do)
- 24 Roma tomatoes, (roasted, skinned and chopped)
- 3 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate
- Sea salt
- 2 cups grated Cotija cheese for the top
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
In a Dutch oven, sweat the onions, garlic, chiles, cilantro, annato seed paste, chili powder, cinnamon, oregano, and cumin in the olive oil. Add the lamb stew meat, and continue to cook until the meat has caramelized just slightly. Deglaze with the beer. Add the lamb stock, and tomatoes. Put the lid on and pop it into the oven while the shearing goes on. Stir it occasionally and cook for about 4 to 6 hours. When the shearing is done, grate the chocolate into the chili, which by now should be sublime. Ladle it into bowls and top it with the grated Cotija cheese and serve with a nice cold beer, fresh cornbread, a salad and feel the flavors of Mexico transport you!
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