This may be hot enough to slake your chile jones, but light on the meat, unashamedly vegetal.


2 tablespoons cumin seed
1 tablespoon szechuan peppercorn
8 ounces very lean ground beef
1-1/2 pounds yellow onion, chopped ~3 cups
2 large bell peppers, chopped ~2-1/2 cups
2 poblano peppers, chopped ~1 cup
3 serrano peppers, minced
8-10 garlic cloves, minced ~1/3 cup
15 sprigs culantro, minced
3 tablespoons cumin, ground
2-1/2 tablespoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon asafetida powder
5 -6 tablespoons commercial chili powder
2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns, if available
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 bay leaves
1 packet Sazon con achiote
2 cascabel chiles, whole
2 guajillo chiles, whole
3 chiles de arbol, or japonicas, whole
14.5 ounces can tomatoes, diced, with chilies
8 ounces kidney beans, dry, pre-soaked ~8 hours
2 quarts water, plus more as needed
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
8 ounces Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1 pound rice, preferably La Preferida or Goya, cooked
3-5 splashes chile with garlic sauce, as desired (tong et toi Vietnam)


Step 1
Toast cumin seed and szechuan peppercorns in cast iron or heavy-bottom pan, till fragrant and slightly darkened. Add ground beef and brown. Add onions and fresh peppers; saute until softened; stir in garlic and culantro. Begin stirring in spices and herbs, blending and toasting lightly, then add tomatoes. Stir to blend a few minutes. Add 2 quarts water and beans. Lower heat to simmer. Over the next 3-1/2 - 4 hours, stir and scrape sides occasionally, adding water as required to maintain a loose, soup-like consistency. Mash the chiles and peppercorns as they soften. Pick out the skins and bay leaves, and serve with rice, cheese and cilantro. Pass the hot sauce and freshly-ground black pepper, as desired