No. 9 Chili
Serves 6 to 8
2 ounces beef suet (may substitute vegetable oil)
3 pounds lean beef, preferably stewing meat
3 to 6 ancho chile pods, boiled for 30 minutes, then cooled, stemmed, seeded, chopped, and returned to cooking water (may substitute 3 to 6 tablespoons chile powder or ground chile)
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon crushed cumin seed
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
2 to 4 minced garlic cloves, to taste
2 to 4 extra ancho chile pods, stemmed and seeded (but not chopped)
2 tablespoons masa harina or cornmeal
1. Cook suet until fat is rendered. Remove suet. Sear meat in fat in 2 or 3 batches.
2. Place meat in large pot with chopped ancho chiles and as much reserved liquid as needed to keep meat from burning (about 2 inches of water above the meat).
3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except extra anchos and masa. Return to a boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim off grease.
4. Add extra ancho chile pods to taste and masa harina to thicken. Simmer another 30 minutes until meat is tender.
Source: Frank X. Tolbert’s 1953 history of chili, A Bowl of Red.
This recipe originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of Texas Monthly.