From Cook's Country. Many chili con carne recipes call for toasting and grinding a variety of whole chiles. We wanted to create a simpler, authentic-tasting version using supermarket ingredients. For the meat, we settled on beef chuck, our favorite affordable cut for stews because its substantial marbling provides rich flavor and tender texture after prolonged cooking. To add a smoky meatiness to our Chili Con Carne recipe, we browned the beef in bacon fat instead of oil. We added fresh jalapeño for brightness and heat and minced chipotle (canned smoked jalapeño) for smoky, spicy depth. Corn muffin mix gave our Chili Con Carne a silky texture and a hint of corn flavor.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
To ensure the best chile flavor, I recommend toasting whole dried chiles and grinding them in a mini-chopper or spice-dedicated coffee grinder, all of which takes only ten (very well-spent) minutes. Select dried chiles that are moist and pliant, like dried fruit. Count on trimming one-half to a full pound of waste from your chuck roast, so start with a four-pound roast to end up with three to three-and-a-half pounds of beef cubes. For hotter chili, boost the heat with a pinch of cayenne, a dash of hot pepper sauce, or crumbled pequin chiles near the end of cooking. Serve the chili with any of the following side dishes: warm pinto or kidney beans, corn bread or chips, corn tortillas or tamales, rice, biscuits, or just plain crackers, and top with any of the following garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro leaves, minced white onion, diced avocado, shredded cheddar or jack cheese, or sour cream.
Mix chili 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.
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 jalapeño; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili paste; 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 a steady simmer until meat is tender and juices are dark, rich, and starting to thicken, about 2 hours.
Mix masa harina with 2/3 cup water (or cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water) in a 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 or for up to 5 days. Reheat before serving.
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|Serving Size: 1 (2046g)|
|Recipe Makes: Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 27 (36%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 3g||4 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.3g||1 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1.7g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0.5g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 4745.2mg||164 %|
|Potassium 312.4mg||8 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 11.7g||3 %|
|Dietary Fiber 2.5g||10 %|
|Sugars, other 9.2g|
|Protein 3.3g||5 %|
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Calories per serving: 74
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