Beergeek's Texas Chili Con Carne

  1. 5 medium Ancho Chile pods (about ½ ounce) toasted and ground
    5 medium New Mexico Chile pods (about ¾ ounce) toasted and ground
    5 Chile De Arbol pods, toasted and ground
    1 can (12 oz.) Chipotle Chiles in Adobo (puree w/ 1/2 cup water)
    3 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted in dry skillet over medium heat until
    about 4 minutes, and ground
    3 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
    5-6 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed of all excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  2. 10-12 slices bacon (about 12-16 ounces), cut into 1/4 -inch strips
    1 medium onion, minced
    5 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 5 teaspoons)
    3 medium jalapeño chile peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
    1 can canned plain tomato sauce (8-12 oz.)
    Juice of 1 lime (about 6 Tbsp)
    5 tablespoons masa harina or 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    Ground black pepper
    Kosher Salt
  1. Mix chili powders, cumin, and oregano in small bowl and stir in ½ cup water to form thick paste; set aside.
  2. Toss beef cubes with 2 teaspoons salt in large bowl; set aside.
  3. Fry bacon in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until fat renders and bacon crisps, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to paper towel–lined plate; pour all but 2 teaspoons fat from pot into small bowl; set aside.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high; sauté meat in four batches until well- browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch, adding 2 teaspoons bacon fat to pot each time as necessary. Set browned meat aside in large bowl.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons bacon fat to now-empty pan. Add onion and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and jalapeños and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili powder mixture and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reserved bacon and browned beef, crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, lime juice, Chipotle puree, and 7 cups water. Bring to simmer.
  7. Continue to cook at steady simmer (lowering heat as necessary) until meat is tender and juices are dark, rich, and starting to thicken, about 2 hours.
  8. Mix masa harina with 2/3 cup water (or cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water) in small bowl to form smooth paste. Increase heat to medium, stir in paste, and simmer until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
  9. Adjust seasonings generously with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately or, for best flavor, cool slightly, cover, and refrigerate overnight or for up to 5 days. Reheat before serving.
  10. Makes 10 servings

Chili Trivia:

  • Chili is the official state food of Texas
  • Cincinnati Chili was inspired by Greek and Macedonian immigrants around the turn of the 20th century
  • The intensity of heat in the taste of the Chile peppers usually decreases as the size of the pepper increases