The link below has my initial attempt at making a great Texas Chili. Based on some of the comments people made, I revised my recipe slightly and had better results. I'm still not perfectly happy with it.
This time after I browned the chuck steak cubes, I sauteed a small minced red onion and then added the meat back. Then I added in the following:
- pulp of about 6 reconstituted Ancho chiles
- pulp of 2 reconsistuted habaneros
- 1 TBS Chipotle chile powder
- 1 TBS Cayenne powder
- 1 TBS Guajillo chile powder.
I cooked this for a minute or two, then added some of the water the chiles were reconstituted in, 1 beer and some water. I brought this up to a boil and let it simmer partially covered for about an hour. Then I added 1 TBS fresh ground cumin seeds, 1tsp oregano, 1 TBS paprika and a touch more of the chile powders and some garlic powder (i forget to get fresh garlic). Then simmered for maybe another 1 1/2 hours. Then I added 2 TBS of masa harina mixed with a little water and cooked. The masa harina really thickened up the sauce and gave it nice body. I tried a few pieces of the steak which was tender. The upfront flavor was kind of subtle and then had a nice back of the throat chile kick, which I think was from the ground guajillo. I still was hoping for a more upfront flavor that wasn't there. A little disappointed I let it cool and refridgerated overnight. The next day the flavor was fuller, but I felt it was still missing something. It didn't have a bright, upfront flavor.
- Can anyone think what i'm missing? Should I use more onion or would the addition of fresh garlic make that much difference?
- Also, the reconstituting and deskinning the dried anchos were a real pain. Even though I just got a wire strainer and I'm not sure its worth the effort. If I ground up the dried chiles whole, what would the differences in taste be. Should I buy ground ancho chiles instead or deal with the hassle?
Also, if anyone considers making the Chili, I highly recommend using the masa harina. It really was amazing how much it changed the sauce and tightened it up. it went from soupy to a nice tomato paste consistency. Fortunately, I have enough masa harina left over for my next 400 batches of Chili. Hope the girlfriend doesn't mind eating a lot of beef this year.