Hollywood Chili

Hollywood Chili

Serves 6 to 8

Why This Recipe Works: Though Chasen’s Restaurant was well known for its A-list clientele—from Frank Sinatra to Elizabeth Taylor—the Hollywood landmark’s rich, gently spiced chili was its main draw. Every bowl was loaded with green peppers, hand-ground beef chuck and pork butt, and plenty of butter. Without a meat grinder handy, we looked for workable cuts that would impart the same strong pork and beef flavors. Ground beef was an easy swap, and for pork that stayed moist and meaty, we browned pork chops in butter. Peppers, onions, and spices cooked in butter created a seasoned, flavorful base, and canned chipotle chile and adobo sauce added depth and heat. Using canned crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce sped up our prep, and we used the simmering tomato mixture to finish cooking the browned pork chops and the beef. The chops were perfectly tender in an hour, so we removed the bones, chopped the pork, and stirred it into the pot along with canned pinto beans. Our chili was ready to serve, its warm flavors immediately transporting us back to the red-boothed restaurant of Hollywood’s bygone days.

Use a Dutch oven that holds 6 quarts or more for this recipe. Chipotle chiles can be very hot: We wear rubber gloves when handling them. To freeze leftover chile in adobo sauce, transfer the contents of the can to a zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

3 pounds bone-in blade-cut pork chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
3 green bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
2 onions, chopped fine
1/4 cup chili powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
2 (28‑ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (29‑ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
3 (15‑ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed

1. Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown well, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer pork to plate.

Sear Pork Chops

Add beef to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain beef and set aside.

2. Return pot to medium heat and melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add peppers and onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, garlic, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Stir in chipotle, adobo sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water and bring to boil. Return pork and beef to pot, along with any accumulated juices.

Stir in Meat

Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until pork is tender, about 1 hour.

4. Transfer pork to cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones, discard fat, and chop coarse.

Chop Meat

Skim any fat from surface of chili using large spoon. Stir chopped pork and beans into pot, return to simmer, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. (Chili can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)


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