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NYT Chili


from the New York Times January 28, 2015



1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds

1  1/2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

4 pounds beef chuck roast or steak

1 teaspoon salt, more to taste

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra as needed

1 large yellow or white onion, chopped, plus extra for serving

6 large garlic cloves, minced

4 to 7 large fresh green jalapeños (depending on how much heat) stemmed, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons masa harina or 1 corn tortilla, torn into pieces (optional)


2 tablespoons ground pure chile powder, such as pasilla, Chimayo or ancho

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 - 12 ounce bottle Negra Modelo beer

1 - 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, or 3 - 10 ounce cans Ro-Tel canned tomatoes with green chiles

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

3 whole dried large red chiles, such as New Mexico

Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Fritos or warmed flour tortillas, for serving

1.  In a small heavy skillet, toast cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant.  In a mortar and pestle, or in a coffee grinder, grind to a powder and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, roughly cut beef into 2-inch cubes, or slice it against the grain into pieces about 1/4-inch thick by 1  1/2-inches square.  Sprinkle with salt.

3.  In a large, heavy pot over high heat, heat oil until simmering.  Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, brown the meat, turning occasionally until crusty.  Adjust the heat to prevent scorching.  As it is cooked, remove the meat to drain on paper towels.  Add more oil as needed for browning, but do not clean out the pot.

4.  To the empty but crusty pot, add onion, garlic, jalapeños, masa harina or tortilla (if using), chile powder, cumin-coriander powder, and oregano.  Cook, stirring, until onion has softened, 5 to 10 minutes.  Add meat, beer, tomatoes, chocolate, whole dried chiles and 1 quart water.  Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 1  1/2 hours or until meat is fork-tender.  Remove the dried chiles.  Taste and add salt if necessary.

5.  Serve immediately or let cool and refrigerate.  (The chili tastes best one or two days after it is made.)  Reheat over low heat, if necessary, and serve in bowls, sprinkled with chopped onion and cilantro.  Add Fritos for crunch or dip tortillas into the spicy gravy.