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Red Eye Chili

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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2 tablespoons EVOO or vegetable oil

1/3 pound coppa or hot ham deli meat, cut 1/8-inch thick and chopped 

2 pounds coarse ground sirloin or ground beef of your choice

Kosher salt and coarse black pepper 

2 tablespoons chili powder, such as Gebhardt's

1 tablespoon ground coriander, plus some for tortilla chips 

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin, plus some for tortilla chips 

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

1 onion, finely chopped 

3 tablespoons tomato paste 

2 cups beef stock 

1 cup strong black coffee 

1 cup cabernet or other dry red wine 

One 14-ounce can, red kidney beans, optional 

8 corn tortillas 

Natural nonstick cooking spray


Crumbled queso fresco or shredded sharp white Cheddar

Chopped raw yellow onions or red onions 

Pickled jalapeno rings or hot banana pepper rings 


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large Dutch oven or chili pot over medium-high heat, add the coppa and cook until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the coppa with a slotted spoon and reserve for later use. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, a turn of the pot. Pat the ground meat with paper towels to dry. When the oil smokes, add the beef and sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper. Brown to caramelize the sugars in the meat. Then add the coriander, chili powder, cumin, allspice and cinnamon. Stir a minute, then add the garlic and onions, and cook 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir a minute more. Add the beef stock, coffee, wine, ham and beans, if using. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook to thicken and combine flavors, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and store for make-ahead meal. 
  3. While the chili cooks, make the tortilla strips. Cut the tortillas in half and then into thin strips, 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Spray lightly with the nonstick cooking spray, then season with salt, and sprinkle with some coriander and cumin. Arrange on baking sheets in a single layer and bake until crisp. Store wrapped in a foil pouch.
  4. To serve, reheat over medium heat and top the hot chili with a few tortilla strips, cheese, onions and hot peppers.
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