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De ’arbol And Orange Zest Chili


  • Serves 6.


  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs. chuck, coarsely ground
  • 2 dried de ’arbol chilies
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped and undrained
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water (may substitute tequila)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
  • Lime wedges and cilantro sprigs for garnish


Heat oil in a deep 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Crumble beef into the skillet and brown 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium and add onions. Cook and stir 5 minutes until onions are softened.

Crush chilies into fine flakes with a mortar and pestle (or cut up very finely on a cutting board). Add garlic, cumin, salt, and cloves along with chili flakes to skillet of beef. Cook and stir constantly for one minute. Stir in tomatoes, orange juice, water or tequila, tomato paste, and orange peel. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Uncover skillet and cook chili over medium-low heat about 10 to 15 minutes until thickened slightly, stirring frequently. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

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