Chile Con Carne
  • 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons New Mexico chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano , preferably Mexican
  • 7 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1 beef chuck roast (4-pounds), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons table salt , plus extra for seasoning
  • 8 ounces bacon (7 or 8 slices), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion , minced (about 1 cup)
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small jalapeƱo chile, cored, seeded, and minced
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • juice from 1 medium lime
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. Mix chili powders, cumin, and oregano in small bowl and stir in 1/2 cup water to form thick paste; set aside.
  2. Toss beef cubes with salt; set aside.
  3. Fry bacon in large, heavy soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-low heat until fat renders and bacon crisps, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate; pour all but 2 teaspoons fat from pot into small bowl; set aside.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high; saute 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.
  6. Reduce heat to medium, add 3 tablespoons bacon fat to now-empty pan.
  7. Add onion; saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno; saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  8. Add chili paste; saute until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Add reserved bacon and browned beef, crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, lime juice, and 7 cups water; bring to simmer.
  10. Continue to cook at a steady simmer until meat is tender and juices are dark, rich, and starting to thicken, about 2 hours.
  11. Mix corn starch with 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl to form smooth paste.
  12. Increase heat to medium; stir in paste and simmer until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
  13. Adjust seasoning generously with salt and ground black pepper.
  14. Serve immediately, or preferably, cool slightly, cover, and refrigerate overnight or for up to 5 days.
  15. Reheat before serving.
I made this for the first time when we'd just moved into a new apartment. The cable guy was here hooking up the cable while I was cooking, and he tried to invite himself to dinner.