Dave and Dave’s Championship Chili Yucatan

Ojai Big Chili Cook-Off 2009 People’s Choice
By Dave Mendoza (Big Chef) and Dave Cohen (Little Chef)

Serves 6 firefighters

Ingredients (all measurements are approximate, use your own judgment):

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ pound (about 3 medium) fresh yellow chiles
¼ pound (2 large) pasilla chiles
2 little serrano chiles (or more or less, depending on your
tolerance for eyebrow sweat)
¼ pound (2 large) California chiles
¼ pound (2 large) bell peppers
1 tablespoon anchiote powder
3 pounds beef chuck, tri-tip or top sirloin, trim off all fat/gristle,
cut into 1-inch cubes
4 medium yellow onions, diced ¼-inch-ish
2 ripe bananas, cut into ½-inch slices
8 inches of banana leaf, tied in roll with butcher string
3–5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
12 ounces stewed tomatoes, drained
3 tomatoes, diced in ¼-inch cubes
3 amber beers (one for the chili, two for the cooks)
4 cups beef broth
Salt and pepper


One by one, clean the chiles: Cut off the stem end, slit down the side from seedpod to point, and open out flat. Gently scrape out
the seeds and discard. Roast the chiles over an open flame until blackened and blistered all over. Place in a bowl and cover with
a kitchen towel and let cool until cool enough to handle. Flip the chile over and, scrape off most of the blistered skin. Cut the
cleaned chile flesh into ½-inch slices. Wash your hands and don’t rub your eyes or you will regret it.

In a large (7-quart) Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high. Add half the garlic and brown the beef on all sides (about 8
minutes) then remove to a large pot, and simmer with the beef broth for 30 minutes. Add the onion to the Dutch oven with a little
more oil and cook until richly browned, about 8 minutes (mmm). Add the onions to the beef and broth, followed by chile strips and
bananas. Add the stewed and raw tomatoes, the rest of the garlic and the anchiote. Drizzle everything with the brown sugar. Add
the banana leaf. Cook on medium boil for 1½ to 2 hours. Stir a little bit now and then. Drink the beer; add the beer as necessary.
Taste continuously and season with salt, pepper, cumin and other secret seasonings.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply