Thursday, November 6, 2014

Texas Chili

Awhile ago, a good friend of ours gave us a bunch of dried chiles. I was really excited about them, but I'm not going to lie, I didn't do much with them. For a very long time. Well, I finally did! Here's some awesome chili that I made. It was spicy, but not too much that I couldn't eat it. Quite possibly, one of my favorite chilis!


Texas Chili-adapted from Epicurious
Total Time: 2 1/2 Hours
Serves 4

  • 2 ounces dried chiles
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • Sour cream and cheese, for serving\

Place the chiles in a slarge skillet over medium-low heat and gently toast the chiles until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Don't let them burn or they'll turn bitter. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover them with very hot water and soak until soft, 15 to 45 minutes, turning once or twice.
Drain the chiles; split them and remove stems and seeds (a brief rinse helps remove seeds, but don't wash away the flesh). Place the chiles in the bowl of a blender and add the cumin, black pepper, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/4 cup water. Purée the mixture, adding more water as needed (and occasionally scraping down the sides of the blender jar), until a smooth, slightly fluid paste forms (you want to eliminate all but the tiniest bits of skin.) Set the chile paste aside.
Return skillet to medium-high heat and heat four tablespoons vegetable oil and add the beef. Lightly brown on at least two sides, about 3 minutes per side, reducing the heat if the meat threatens to burn. Set aside.
Let the skillet cool slightly, and place it over medium-low heat. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet; add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, the remaining 2 cups water and gradually whisk in the masa harina to avoid lumps. Stir in the reserved chile paste, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to loosen any browned bits. Add the reserved beef and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain the barest possible simmer  and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender but still somewhat firmt, about 2 hours.
Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar thoroughly and add more salt to taste; gently simmer 10 minutes more. Serve with sour cream and cheese.


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