January 16, 2010

Texas Red.

3 tbs bacon drippings or vegetable oil
3 lb chuck shoulder, trimmed and cut in to 1/4 inch cubes
8-12 Ancho, New Mexico, and/or California chili pods
1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tbs Mexican oregano

3 tbs crushed cumin seed or ground cumin

1 tbs salt

4 minced garlic cloves, to taste

2 x 7.75 oz can hot Mexican-style tomato sauce (such as El Pato Salas de Chili Fresco)

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1 cup chicken stock or water

3 tablespoons masa harina

Clean, stem, and seed chilies, then. boil 5 minutes in 1 quart of water. Reserve cooking water, cool the chilies and chop , or throw the water and chilies in a blender and puree. You can substitute 6 tablespoons chili powder or ground chili, but quality matters, so don't skimp.

Heat fat in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the meat
on all sides then add onions, chilies, reserved cooking water, and enough water or stock to cover meat by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add oregano, cumin, salt, garlic, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and stock to pot. Simmer 45 minutes more stirring occasionally and skim off grease as needed.

Taste the chili and adjust the heat and salt to taste. If you need more heat add extra chili or ground cayenne pepper, but keep in mind it's easier to add heat than to take away.
For a more fiery chili you can use dried de arbol or morita (chipotle) chilies that have been toasted and ground or boiled and pureed.

Sprinkle masa harina over chili and stir well. Simmer another 30 minutes, or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with shredded cheese, diced onions, and cilantro.

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