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Prize-Winning Chili


3/4 cup Masa Harina
1/2 to 1 tablespoon salt, depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 pounds beef, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium onions, chopped
6 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Serrano or jalapeno chiles, minced
1 dried chipotle chile pod
3 ancho chile pods
1 dried New Mexico chile pod
4 New Mexico chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded
6 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon ground cumin


  1. Remove stems, seeds, and veins from dried chiles. Place both dried and roasted chiles and 1 1/2 cups of broth in a saucepan. Boil 5 minutes, then steep 15 minutes.
  2. Combine Masa Harina, salt and pepper in a paper bag. Add meat to bag and shake to coat.
  3. Place oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot. Heat at high temperature until oil almost just starts to smoke. Add meat, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Add onions, garlic and jalapenos or serranos. Cook and stir until soft.
  4. Add 4 1/2 cups of beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Puree all the peppers and liquid in a food processor or blender. Add puree to meat and stir. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 hours, or until meat is tender.
  5. Add cumin. Add salt to taste. If needed, thicken with additional Masa Harina and a little water.