3New Mexican dried peppersSee my NOTES above on the dried pepper choices – I prefer a variety
2.5poundsbeef chuckcut into bite-sized cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
1medium white onionchopped
2serrano pepperschopped (optional for extra heat – use extra jalapenos for milder)
2cupsbeef stockor use a dark beer
2.5cupswater + more as needed (or use chicken or beef stock, or beer)
2tablespoonsmasa harinacorn flour, for thickening, if desired
FOR SERVING: Chopped onion, spicy chili flakes, freshly chopped cilantro, lime wedges, crema or sour cream, Fritos or tortilla chips, whatever else you desire
Start your chili paste first by lightly toasting the dried peppers in a dry pan about a minute or 2 per side. This will help to release the oils.
Remove from heat and cool enough to handle. Remove the stems and pour out the seeds.
Soak the peppers in hot water for 20 minutes, or until they are nice and soft.
Add them to a food processor with 1 cup of the soaking water and a bit of salt to taste. Process until nice and smooth. Set aside for now.
Add the cubed beef to a large bowl and toss with the cumin and a bit of salt and pepper. Make sure everything is nice and coated.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot and add the seasoned beef. Cook 6-7 minutes, searing the beef all over. Remove the beef and set aside.
Add the remaining olive oil along with the jalapenos and onion. Cook them down about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and stir. Cook another minute.
Pour in the reserved chili paste and stir. Cook it for 2-3 minutes to let the flavor develop a bit.
Stir in the beef broth (or beer), 2 cups of water, brown sugar, Worcestershire, and masa and bring to a quick boil. If you are using the optional additions (see my NOTES above), add them in now.
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the beef is very tender. It could take longer if you are using tougher cuts of beef (see NOTES above). Give it a stir once every 30 minutes or so. If it becomes too thick, add in a ¼ cup of water and stir.
Serve with your favorite fixins!
Heat Factor: Mild-Medium, but Texas chili is HUGE on flavor.