Mexican, Soups, Chowders, and Stews

Harley’s Chili


  • 3/4 cup or so of ancho chili paste
  • 3 pounds of round steak or rump roast gound up to a coarse grind using a food processor
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 9 or 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 packet prepared chili mix
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons New Mexican chili powder
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 can (32-ounce) crushed, peeled tomatoes
  • cooked pinto beans (recipe below)


  1. Heat the oil in a large stock pot. When hot, add the onions, and stir turn down heat and let them simmer on low for about 1/2 hour, stirring now and then.  You want them to just turn brown.
  2. Add the ground meat and stir it around.
  3. Add garlic and stir well. The meat will take 20 minutes or so to brown.
  4. Add the chili powders and about 1-2 cups of water; you want enough water to moisten it, but not make it soupy, so it can simmer without drying out.  Simmer with lid off for about 20 minutes.
  5. Heat about 1/2 cup water to boiling.  Take 3-5 dried ancho chilis, pour boiling water over and let sit for 30 minutes or so.   Pull of stems and shake out some of the seeds.
  6. Put in blender or food processor with about 1/2 of the water and blend until smooth to make your ancho chili paste.  (By itself this stuff tastes bitter, but don’t worry).
  7. Add ancho chili paste to the meat mixture and stir well.
  8. Simmer 10 more minutes (it should be thickening).   Taste for salt, add just a tad if needed, because it will cook longer and the salt will concentrate.
  9. Add the of cocoa powder, cumin, oregano and tomato sauce.  Stir and cook for 5-10 minutes (lid still off).
  10. Add the pinto beans (recipe below) and their liquid (which should not be much).
  11. Cover, leaving a crack for steam,  and cook another hour and a half.

Pinto Beans

  • 3/4 cup dried pinto beans, washed and picked over for rocks
  • water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 strip salt pork, 6 inches by 1/4 inch
  1. Put beans in a pot and cover with water.”
  2. Add bay leaves and salt pork.
  3. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and cook on low for 30 minutes.  Check the beans and add water if needed.
  4. Turn to a low simmer until semi tender to the bite, not mushy but still hold their shape, approximately 2 or 2-1/2 hours.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and salt pork before adding to chili.

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