I found this really neat twist on tamales that I just have to share with you. The concept of this recipe works with any chili recipe out there, but seriously, give this one a try! The polenta mixed with the chili really adds something extra special.
* 3 dried chili peppers, seeds and stems removed
* 1 quart chicken stock
* 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
* 1 tablespoon ground cumin
* 3/4 tablespoon ground coriander
* 3/4 tablespoon paprika
* 1 1/2 pinches cinnamon
* 1/2 pinch of ground cloves
* 3 teaspoons brown sugar
* Salt and black pepper
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1 cup lager beer
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 1 1/2 cups whole milk
* 1 cup quick cooking polenta
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 rounded tablespoon honey
* 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
Let’s get started! Place the chilies in a pot and cover with 2 1/2 cups stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to soften, 7 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown meat, breaking into small pieces. Season the meat with cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper. Add onions and garlic to meat and cook to tender. Stir in tomato paste, incorporate it, and then add beer to the pan, scraping up the bits.
In a blender, purée the stock and softened peppers, then stir into chili. Add the brown sugar and let the chili simmer on low for about 30 minutes.
Right before you are ready to serve the chili, bring remaining 1 1/2 cups of stock and milk to a boil then whisk in polenta and whisk about 2 to 3 minutes to thicken. Stir in butter and honey and season the polenta with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour polenta into individual bowl and form a well in the center. Fill polenta lined bowls with chili and top with shredded cheese. Enjoy!