Smoky Tex-Mex Chili

We're talking real chili here, the kind of bowl food that satiates your hunger and wakes up your senses. You'll get a variety of flavors in every bite--smoky, slightly sweet and spicy. It’s best made a day ahead and rewarmed, so make a batch this weekend and enjoy all week long. Garnish each serving with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, chopped red onion and thinly sliced avocados.

Smoky Tex-Mex Chili


4 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons chili powder, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 oz. bacon, chopped
4 cups chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped garlic
2 Anaheim or poblano chiles, roasted, chopped*
2 jalapeño chiles, veins and seeds removed, finely chopped
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (12-oz.) bottle beer or nonalcoholic beer
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or beef broth
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons molasses
2 tablespoons masa harina or instant grits**
3 tablespoons cider vinegar


1. Place beef in large bowl; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

2. In large heavy pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until browned but not too crisp. Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.

3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef in 3 batches; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until browned on all sides. Place in clean large bowl.

4. Add onions to pot. Cover and cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic, Anaheim chiles and jalapeño chiles; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add reserved bacon, beef with any accumulated juices, tomatoes, beer, broth, remaining 2 tablespoons chili powder, cumin, oregano and molasses. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.

6. Skim off any grease from surface. In medium bowl, stir together masa harina, vinegar and 1 cup of the chili liquid. Stir into chili; cook 10 minutes.

TIPS *To roast chiles, place over high heat on gas or electric burner. Cook, turning with tongs occasionally, until skins are completely blackened. Place chiles in heavy plastic bag; close bag and let stand 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel blackened skins under running water. Slit chiles; remove veins and seeds.

**Masa harina is a corn flour used to make corn tortillas. It’s made from dried corn kernels that have been soaked in lime and water and made into masa, meaning dough. When the masa is dried and ground, it becomes masa harina. It can be found in the Hispanic section of supermarkets or next to flour in the baking section.


8 (1 1/2-cup) servings


PER SERVING: 575 calories, 31 g total fat (11.5 g saturated fat), 52.5 g protein, 20.5 g carbohydrate, 145 mg cholesterol, 975 mg sodium, 5 g fiber