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Mole Poblano Chili made with Smoked Porter

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  • Author: Heather Lewis


Mole poblano and chili are a perfect match. Spices and tomatoes add depth, while vinegar and squash create balance. The secret ingredient? Smoked Porter


  • 2 ancho chile peppers*
  • 2 pasilla chile peppers*
  • 2 guajillo chile peppers*
  • 1 green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon New Mexico ground chile powder
  • or other non-spicy ground red chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (85/15 or 80/20)
  • or ground turkey or cooked/smoked shredded turkey
  • 12 ounces robust or smoked porter
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 to 2 chipotles from a can of chipotles in adobo, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotles in adobo
  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground


  • sour cream
  • freshly chopped cilantro
  • cotija
  • sliced avocado
  • toasted sesame seeds


  • cornbread
  • tortilla chips


  1. Remove stem and shake out seeds of dried chiles. Tear chiles into large pieces and place in a non-reactive bowl; cover with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes. Transfer chiles to a food processor or blender with 1/2 cup soaking liquid, adding more if needed; puree until smooth.
  2. Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add bell pepper, poblano, onion, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and garlic is fragrant. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink; carefully pour off any excess oil. Add ground spices and cook, stirring regularly, an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the beer; stir and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes then stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, stock, chocolate, cider vinegar, chipotles, adobo sauce, and butternut squash. Bring chili to a boil; once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Add black beans during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve in a large bowl and pile on those toppings.


*All three are dried varieties; if one is not available, substitute with one each of the other two.

For a thicker chili, whisk together 1 tablespoon corn starch and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl to make a slurry; stir into chili and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, for 2 minutes. Another option is to add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cornmeal directly to chili; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
This chili will only get better the longer it simmers, up to 4 hours. If you do opt to let the chili simmer longer, which I highly recommend, hold off on adding the butternut squash until the final hour of cooking. And don’t forget, chili tastes even better the second day.

  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Mexican Fusion
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