chili with lamb and chorizo

or lamb and chorizo chili or chorizo and lamb chili…whatever you want to call it.

disclaimer: as i said before i am not a photographer.  i thought about just posting the recipe but if you are like me, looking at recipes without pictures is not much fun.  in the end i decided very bad pictures would be better than no pictures at all.  you may or may  not agree.

chili is my go-to comfort food for the fall.  i think the tradition started with my mom who always made up her betty crocker chili recipe for halloween.   when i got married, i discovered my own recipe with  and began our own tradition of halloween night chili but eventually we got to where we were eating it often through the fall and winter months.  this year we decided to branch out and try some other chilis: a different recipe each month with the first  monday of the month being chili night.

we kicked off our chili season with this version made with lamb and chorizo.  ( a discussion is underway about a much better camera for the future.  if you absolutely cannot stand the neon glare in the photos following, the recipe is at the end of the post. )

start off with a pound of ground lamb and two ten ounce tubes of chorizo.  we’re fortunate that our local grocery carries lamb on  a regular basis so for us it is pretty easy to find.  we also have a local, natural supplier through our farmer’s market.  set the meat out and set it aside while you focus  your attention on the “hot sauce”.

in a medium saucepan cover about ten chilies de arbol with about 1 cup of chicken broth. this stuff packs a wallop, if you want milder chili, use fewer chilies.

::shields eyes from glaring blue label:: i discovered these cute little 8 oz cartons of chicken broth at whole foods.  they come in a pack of three and are wonderfully convenient for those times you only need a small amount.  unused portions freeze well.   simmer the chilies over medium heat for ten minutes; or until the chilies soften.

while the chilies simmer away, you have time to coarsely chop 2 cups of onion (i will not insult your intelligence by showing you how) and chop 12 cloves, (yes 12, don’t decrease the amount) of garlic.

when your chilies have softened process in a food processor or with a hand held blender.  this stuff is part of what makes this recipe so great.  it is also liquid lava, so it is hothothot.  set aside, and use with caution.

go ahead and drain two cans of pozole dorado (golden hominy).  while it is draining in the sink, brown your chorizo.  now, if you have never worked with chorizo before you will notice that this has a very grainy texture, much finer than ground beef or bulk sausage.  when you put it in the pan and it begins to cook, it will spread out all over the place.   don’t worry (i did the first time i cooked with chorizo) that is what it is supposed to do.  when it has browned, pour the contents of the pan (grease and all) into a strainer and set over a bowl to drain.

it needs to drain for a full ten minutes.  set your timer and you have enough time to tidy up the kitchen, or if you are irresponsible like me, leave the dishes in the sink and check your fb updates.   when the chorizo has drained, measure off 1/4 cup of the drippings and add to the pan.  (discard the rest)

heat over a medium high burner/flame and add your onions and garlic.  you will also add, your spices, the meat, a can of diced tomatoes, and the pozole.  at the end, begin adding your hot sauce to taste.  do not add it all at once as it may be too spicy.  i cooked my chili a day ahead and tasted throughout the day, adjusting the heat as we went along.  if you do decide to make this in advance, be mindful of the fact that your flavor and heat will grow in intensity as it sits.  i also noticed that the pozole softened overnight and when we do this again, i would prefer to add just before serving.

serve with a dollop of sour cream, some chopped onion, grated sharp cheddar cheese, and crushed blue corn tortilla chips if desired.

chili with lamb and chorizo

1 c chicken broth

5-10 chilies de arbol

2 10 oz tubes beef chorizo

1 lb ground lamb

2 c coarsely chopped red onion

12 garlic cloves, chopped

1 T dried oregano

1 T c ground cumin

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

2 15 oz cans pozole dorado (golden hominy), rinsed, drained


sour cream

chopped onion

grated sharp cheddar cheese

blue corn tortilla chips

sliced jalepeno

combine broth and chilies in a heavy, medium saucepan.  simmer, until chilis soften, about 12 minutes.  puree chilis in blender.  set aside.

brown chorizo in heavy pot over medium heat until drippings come to a simmer.  break up meat with back of a spoon.  transfer to a strainer set over a bowl.  drain 10 minutes.

return 1/4 c of the chorizo drippings to the pot.  add onions, garlic, oregano, and cumin.  saute until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  add lamb, and brown until no longer pink.  add chorizo, tomatoes, and chili puree.  bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 1 hour.  add hominy and simmer an additional 15 minutes.  serve with garnishes.

6-8 servings

~adapted from  the bon appetit cookbook


3 Comments to “chili with lamb and chorizo”

  1. jen- this looks great. give me a call when it’s ready.


  2. I thought the pictures came through fine. No apologies necessary.

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