|Cook's Illustrated Chili Con Carne|
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 jalaneño; 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.
*Note: The author suggests refrigerating the finished product overnight to allow the flavors to develop. He also suggests adding peanut butter and/or unsweetened chocolate to enhance the earthiness and to add creaminess. Enjoy!
From: March & April 1998 issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine.
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