Cook's Illustrated Chili Con Carne

Course : Chili
Serves: 6
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3 tablespoons ancho chile powder or 3 medium pods
3 tablespoons New Mexico chile powder or 3 medium pods
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons dried oregano -- preferably Mexican
1/2 cup water
4 pound beef chuck roast -- trimmed of excess -- fat and cut into 1-i
2 teaspoons salt, plus extra for seasoning
8 ounces bacon (7 or 8 slices) -- cut into 1/4-inch pi
1 medium onion, minced, (about 1 cup)
5 medium garlic cloves -- minced.
4 small jalapeno chile peppers, cored -- seeded, and minced
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes or plain tomato sauce
2 tablespoons juice from 1 medium lime
5 tablespoons Masa harina or 3 Tbsp. cornstarch.
1 teaspoon black pepper -- freshly ground

Preparation / Directions:

Toast and grind the ancho and New Mexico chile pods. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes and grind. 1. Mix chile powders, cumin, and oregano in small bowl and stir in 1/2 cup water to form thick paste; set aside. Toss beef cubes with salt; set aside. 2. Fry bacon in large, heavy soup kettle or 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. Increase heat to medium-high; sauté meat in four batches until well-browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch, adding additional 2 teaspoons bacon fat to pot as necessary. Reduce heat to medium, add 3 tablespoons bacon fat to now-empty pan. Add onion; sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno; sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reserved bacon and browned beef, crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, lime juice, and 7 cups water; bring to simmer. Continue to cook at steady simmer until meat is tender and juices are dark, rich, and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. 3. Mix masa harina with 2/3 cup water (or cornstarch with 3 Tbsp. water) in small bowl to form smooth paste. Increase heat to medium; stir in paste and simmer until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning generously with salt and ground black pepper. Serve immediately, or preferably, cool slightly, cover, and refrigerate overnight for up to 5 days. Reheat before serving.

2 Kitchen's say:
  (4 3/4 Stars!)
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