November 1, 2009

CHILI CON CARNE FOR A CROWD

CHILI CON CARNE FOR A CROWD

6-8 lbs, lean beef chuck, round or sirloin
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions, diced
1 entire head garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 8 ounce can Hunt's tomato sauce, with chilis
2 cups hot water
6 tablespoons chili powder
4 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika (smoked if available)
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons flour (or masa harina)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 tablespoons ketchup
cayenne pepper, to taste

Remove all fat and sinew from beef and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes.

In a large heavy skillet, heat olive oil. When sizzling hot, add a portion of the beef and brown in batches. (If you add too much beef at once, the meat will steam rather than brown.) Add more olive oil as needed. As meat is browned, transfer to a large kettle or stockpot. In same skillet (after meat has been cooked and removed) saute onion until translucent; add garlic and saute until lightly toasted but not browned. Transfer onion and garlic to same pan as meat; mix thoroughly.

Stir in remaining ingredients (except flour or masa harina).

Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to a very low simmer and continue to coover for 90 minutes to 2 hours or so, stirring frequently, adding small amounts of water if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings. Salt, pepper, garlic or onion powder, cayenne, Tabasco, Frank's Hot Sauce, chopped jalapeno pepper or beef soup base can optionally be added to kick up the flavor (let taste and moderation be your guide - remember, when cooking for a crowd, there will always be some who prefer a milder version; remove and reserve a portion of the unseasoned product for children and others who don't like it hot).

To thicken, stir flour or masa harina into a little water to make a paste, then stir in. Cook 10-20 more minutes.

Serve (optionally) with shredded cheese on top.

Approximately 10 servings.

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