Bill - Chipotles are definetly in my mix, I love the flavor, smoke, and heat they bring! The chorizo sounds interesting...
Here is what I used in my last batch...
Lard As Needed
2lbs Beef (Diced/Ground)
1 Smoked Ham Hock
4oz Finely Diced Yellow Onion
4oz Finely Diced Bell Pepper
1oz Minced Garlic
1oz All Purpose Flour
2oz Chipotle Chile's w/Adobo Sauce - Minced
2-T Toasted/Ground Ancho Chiles
1-T Mexican Oregano
2-t Toasted/Ground Cumin Seed
1/2-t Ground Coriander Seed
12fl.oz. Beer (A Medium Ale)
12fl.oz. Beef/Veal Stock
12fl.oz. Tomato Puree
2-T Cider Vinegar
1-T Brown Sugar
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
I tried it this time with coarsely ground beef, but I think small-dice round is what I prefer. The smoked ham hock reinforces the smokiness of the chipotles, and the molasses in the brown sugar is an excellent component that bridges multiple flavor components. I found using all Ancho chiles (rather than a mix of Anchos/Pasillas) works just as good for me. The bell peppers add a heckuva' lot more flavor than the Anaheims I was using before. There are a couple others things I want to try...
1. Use 1-T toasted/powdered Chipotles rather than 2oz of canned Chipotles.
2. Change liquid ratios and amounts. I think there is a bit too much tomato flavor, and a hair too much volume. It's not bad, but next batch will be 16fl.oz. Beer, 8fl.oz. Stock, 8fl.oz. Tomato Puree. I'd definetly like a little more presence of the beer that is barely there in the background.
3. Brown the beef, make the sauce (and simmer for 30min), strain over the beef, and then braise for ~90min. I want to strain out the little bits of onion, pepper, and garlic. A bit "fancy" for chile, but texture is a big deal for me, and I appreciate smooth sauces. Another option would be to grate the onion/pepper and mash the garlic into a paste. I'm not quite sure that would be enough though. Roasting/peeling the peppers might be a good idea too.
I've read a few new recipes that have given me ideas as well. Using roasted garlic rather than raw, and using homemade chile puree/paste rather than tomatoes which is said by many to "overpower" the natural flavor of the chile. A recent recipe I've read uses the following...
4 Toasted Ancho Chiles
4 Toasted New Mexican Chiles
1 Toasted Chipotle Chile
3-C Liquid (Stock/Beer/Water)
Combine all in a pot, simmer for 20min, and blend to a puree/paste. I would then replace my tomato puree with this chile puree and reduce the dried chile amounts by 1/3-2/3.
I'm going to give it a run as soon as I can source some New Mexican Chiles.