Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Bowl of Red

  • 4 x bacon slices chopped
  • 1 lrg onion chopped
  • 4 x plump garlic cloves minced
  • 4 lb chuck roast trimmed of surface fat, and cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/2 cup good-quality chili powder
  • 1 tbl cumin seeds toasted and ground (or 1 tbspn of ground cumin)
  • 1 tbl mole paste available in specialty food stores (optional)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican) crumbled
  • 2 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or more to taste
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 cup beef stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 tbl masa harina - (to 2 tbspns) (optional)
  • Chopped onions
  • Minced fresh or pickled jalapenos
  • Saltine crackers
  • Fry the bacon in a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium heat until brown and crisp. Remove the bacon from the drippings with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  • Add the onion to the drippings and saute briefly until softened. Add the garlic and saute until the onion is translucent. Stir in the beef and saute until it loses its raw color. Add the reserved bacon, chili powder, cumin, mole paste, oregano, salt, pepper and vinegar. Add just enough stock to cover. Reduce the heat to very low and cook uncovered for about 3 hours, stirring about every 30 minutes. Add stock as needed to keep the mixture from getting dry and sticking.
  • In the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in the masa harina, a couple teaspoons at a time, to thicken or "tighten" the chili. Serve the chili immediately or let it cool, cover and refrigerate overnight, and reheat. Serve the chili steaming hot in bowls, with garnishes as you wish.
  • This recipe yields 8 servings.

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