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Playing Black Bean and Butternut Chili


  • 2 dried Ancho chili peppers
  • 1 dried pasilla chili pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable, canola or olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons, half a palmful, Mexican oregano
  • 1 12-ounce bottle lager (light color/flavor) beer
  • 2 cups butternut squash cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 28-ounce large cans black beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, chopped scallions, toasted pepitas, baked or store-bought tortillas, pickled jalapeño rings/slices, crumbled queso fresco and diced avocado dressed with lime


Serves: 6


Stem and seed dried chilies. Place in small saucepot with stock, bring to boil then reduce heat to a low boil and simmer until peppers are tender and plump; purée.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions and garlic, and cook to tender, 6-7 minutes. Stir in dried spices, cook 1 minute to toast then add beer. Reduce to 1/2 cup and add squash, black beans and chili purée. Bring chili to a bubble, reduce heat and simmer partially covered until squash is tender and chili is fairly thick.

Serve in shallow bowls along with toppings.