As it originated, chili was a stew of chile peppers and meat with not much else though it has evolved to hundreds of thousands of variations.
My personal preference is:
2 lbs beef cut into 1/4-1/2" cubes (round, chuck, or brisket)
6 TB New Mexico Chili powder (pure chili powder, not the blended stuff)
2 TB Oregano (Mexican, not Greek), crushed
2 TB Cumin Seed (fresh ground)
1 onion finely diced
1 bell pepper diced
1 stalk celery finely diced
4-6 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
12 fl. oz beer
1 8oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp beef base (beef based commercial, not bouillon or powder)
Cayenne Pepper (optional)
4-6 TB Masa Harina
Sear the beef in rendered suet or high temp oil (canola works well).
Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery; sweat until tender.
Add about 4 TB chili powder, oregano, and 1TB ground cumin, mix into meat/vegetable mixture.
Add beer, tomato sauce, and beef base, bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
Add 2 TB chili powder and 1 TB ground cumin and blend into stew. Add cayenne pepper to taste, if desired. Cover and continue to simmer for 15-30 minutes.
Blend masa harina with water to form a slurry. Bring chili to a low boil and add slurry mixture to the chili to thicken to preference, then lower heat to a gentle simmer.
Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, uncovered, to cook the flour, stir as necessary to avoid burning.
Serve with preferred side dishes (e.g. rice, beans, tortillas, crackers, etc.)
Top with onions, cheese, or whatever pleases you.
You can substitute ground spices for the oregano and cumin if you can't get them dried. Granulated or dried garlic for fresh. And plain ol' all-purpose flour if the masa harina isn't available. Boullion cubes can also be used in lieu of the commercial soup base.
Baldy wrote:While not wanting to start any regional cuisine arguments, can any US members tell me if traditional Texas style chili should have beans in it or not? I always thought the answer was 'no'... but I am always willing to learn.