* All digital cards and invitiations have moved! Check out the new pingg.com >

Chili Con Carne

There's nothing that takes the chill out of winter like a steaming bowl of chili.

Sure to be a crowd pleaser, serve this spicy stew up with a side of cornbread topped off with your favorite garnishes-Monterrey Jack or cheddar cheese, cilantro, sour cream or tart guacamole.

  • 1 pound pinto beans
  • 1/4 cup corn oil
  • 3 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 pounds yellow onions
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 4 whole mulato chiles
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 whole ancho chiles

Drain and rinse the soaked beans, and place in a large saucepan with water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. (You can prepare beans 1 or 2 days ahead; let cool, cover, and refrigerate in their liquid.)

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add tomatoes, and cook, turning occasionally, until skins begin to char, about 5 minutes. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook, turning, until tomatoes have softened, 7 to 8 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl. When cool enough to handle, peel and core tomatoes. Place tomato flesh in a clean bowl, and reserve.While tomatoes cool, place two-thirds of onion quarters in same skillet with 2 tablespoons oil.

Cover, and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until nicely charred and softened, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Repeat with garlic cloves, remaining onion, and another tablespoon oil. When cool enough to handle, peel garlic and onion, cutting off and discarding roots and peels and adding flesh to bowl with tomato.

Transfer vegetables and any juices to a blender in batches (fill no more than halfway), and puree until nearly smooth. Set aside in a large bowl.Tear the chiles in half, and discard stems and seeds. In the same skillet over medium heat, toast chiles in remaining 2 tablespoons oil, turning with tongs, until smoky, about 3 minutes.

Transfer to the blender. Bring broth and water to a boil, pour over chiles, and let stand until chiles are pliable, about 5 minutes. Puree chiles and broth, and stir into tomato mixture.In a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, cook one-third of meat, breaking it up with a spoon and stirring occasionally until nicely browned, about 8 minutes.

While meat is cooking, brown another third of the meat in the skillet. Then add that batch to the first in the Dutch oven. Stir tomato mixture into meat in Dutch oven.

Brown remaining beef in same skillet; add to Dutch oven. Drain cooked beans; add them to pot with salt.Bring the chili to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently, stirring, until heat is tender and sauce is thick, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in chocolate, and season with the pepper.

Prep Time

30 to 60 minutes

Find more party planning inspirations for Entrees

Inspirations Delivered to Your Inbox

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and have party tips and ideas sent straight to your inbox! You'll be the first to know about our best recipes, decoration ideas, invitation inspirations and more.