Chili Con Carne

Published March 1, 1998.

Why this recipe works:

For the best beanless Texas-style chili recipe, start with big chunks of chuck roast. We found that toasting and grinding fresh chiles gave us the best flavor. Flavor was also improved by adding bacon, which lent our chili recipe sweetness and smokiness. Thickening with masa harina or… read more

For the best beanless Texas-style chili recipe, start with big chunks of chuck roast. We found that toasting and grinding fresh chiles gave us the best flavor. Flavor was also improved by adding bacon, which lent our chili recipe sweetness and smokiness. Thickening with masa harina or cornstarch helped, too, making for a smoother, softer, and more appealing sauce.

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Serves 6

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.

Ingredients

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