To bean or not to bean. That is the question.
For the record, I think that chili is all about the peppers, which is why it’s called “chili”.
There are no beans in this recipe, but I actually like beans in chili. I just don’t have them in this particular recipe.
In fact, I’ve never eaten this chili because I’m…get this…allergic to beef.
It’s true. That’s why you’ll discover very few beef recipes on this website.
I make this chili for other people, and it’s definitely an all day labor of love. Lots and lots of love. So give yourself an entire day to cook, knowing that this chili is worth every minute of that time.
I hope you enjoy this just as much as my friends and family do! I think it’s best served plain with a big slab of cornbread, but chili is a personal thing. So put whatever toppings on that you like. It might be a little too spicy hot for small kids though, so if you want to lighten up the heat level a bit just reduce the amount of the hot peppers in it.
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2 1/2 – 3 lbs oxtail medallions
6 C water
1 C red wine
1 bay leaf
5 C stock (add more if needed)
hand shredded oxtail meat
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 slice bacon (optional) or you can use the fat from the oxtails
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 dried Ancho chili, rehydrated in stock
1 dried Pasilla pepper, rehydrated in stock
1 dried Guajillo pepper, rehydrated in stock
1 Chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 heaping T of your favorite chili seasoning powder
1 heaping t mexican oregano
Making the Stock: Heat dutch oven on stove top to medium low and add oxtails, big end down. Salt the oxtails and cover with water and wine, and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 4 1/2 to 6 hours. The meat should be falling off the bones. Remove from the broth and let cool down so you can shred the meat. At this point I take out the bay leaf and transfer the broth to another container to let it cool down in the fridge for just a little bit. This makes it easier to skim the fat off the top.
Rehydrating the Peppers: At some point during the stock making process, you can rehydrate the peppers. Place them in a glass dish or bowl and ladle some of the hot stock over the top of them. Cover with plastic wrap. They will take at least 1/2 hour to rehydrate.
Time to Make the Chili!: In the same dutch oven, cook up a chopped slice of bacon if you are using it. Remove the bacon when done, and leave about 1-2 T of the fat. If not using bacon, just use the fat from the oxtails. Cook the onions and garlic in the fat over medium low heat until the onions are translucent. If you are using the bacon fat, you don’t really need to add salt, but you might want to add some if using the beef fat.
Put the onions, garlic, rehydrated peppers, chipotle pepper, and pepper soaking liquid into a blender. Liquify until smooth. Cook the diced bell peppers until slightly soft and then add the powdered chili spice blend. Cook for about a minute.
Pour in the pepper onion mix and stir. Add the tomatoes, the oregano, and if you want, crumble the bacon pieces and add that. Stir. Add the shredded oxtail meat, and the stock. Stir. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, and checking the temperature, for 2-3 hours. Taste for salt level and season accordingly.
Serve it the next day!
*tip* – when choosing your dried peppers, make sure they are like raisins. If they are brittle and hard, they are too old and wont taste very good.