Chili Con Carne

by Dennis

2 Tbsp red chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
3-4 Tbsp water
4 strips bacon(I use 6-8)
One 2 1/2 pound chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeño chili peppers, stems removed, seeded, ribs removed, minced
1 14-oz can whole tomatoes
2 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 14-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in a couple tablespoons of water
Grated cheddar cheese and chopped red onion for garnish

1. In a small bowl mix the chili powder, chipotle chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, thyme,
and ground coriander seeds. Mix in water so that chili forms a light paste. Set aside.

2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet on medium high heat until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel. Pour bacon fat from the pan into a
separate container, reserve. When the bacon cools, crumble it into smaller pieces and set aside.

3 Increase heat to medium high, add back in 1 Tablespoon of bacon fat. Working in batches so that you don't crowd the beef (crowding will steam cook the meat instead of browning it), brown the beef cubes on all sides, lightly salting as you cook the beef. Remove beef from pan, set aside.

4 Add another Tablespoon of bacon fat to the pan. Add the chopped onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño, cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add the chili paste and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

5 Into a 6-quart thick-bottomed Dutch oven, put onion chili mixture, beef, bacon, tomatoes(break up the whole tomatoes with your fingers as you put them in the pot), water, lime
juice and sugar. Heat the chili on medium high heat until it comes to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to low. C over and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Then uncover and cook for another half hour, keeping the temperature at a place where you can maintain a simmer.

6 Mix the cornstarch powder into a little water to dissolve the corn starch (otherwise you'll have lumps to deal with) and add to the chili to thicken it. Gently mix in the kidney beans. Add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings. Depending on the acidity of the tomatoes and lime juice you may need a little more sugar to bring the stew to balance. At this point you can also add a little more chili powder if you desire more heat.

Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and chopped red onion. Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips, and or rice.

Serves 4 to 6.

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