Pat meat dry and season with 2 tsp sea salt and grindings of pepper and dust in masa flour. Preheat a large Dutch oven and brown the meat with oil in a Dutch oven – cooking in batches for even browning. Refresh pan with oil as needed and sauté the onion in the same pan, drain any excess oil.
Sizzle the garlic in the pan and add back the meat along with the seasonings and one can of tomatoes, adding a second 14 oz can, or another 28 oz can as desired. Bring to a simmer, skim if needed, partially cover and simmer over low flame until meat is tender to your taste (as short as 30 minutes, or up to 90 minutes), stirring regularly. Taste and adjust seasonings. For a thicker chili with a more rustic taste, thicken with Masa-flour slurry.*
Add drained beans if desired and simmer to heat through. Feel free to adjust seasonings and ingredients to customize your chili.
* Chef’s Notes: For the best flavor, use a medley of dried chilies such as pequin, arbol, New Mexican and chipotles – toast in a hot pan until fragrant, remove seeds and grind with a mortar and pestle and season to taste. Chili powder and cayenne can also be used. To make a Masa-Flour slurry, blend a couple TBS masa flour with cold water or stock, and then temper slowly into chili.
Serving Ideas: Great served with baked potatoes and minced green onions with a shredded lettuce or cabbage salad – no dressing needed. Or spoon into a hot sourdough boule and serve with greens.
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