5 pounds good quality boneless chuck roast
8 dried California chili peppers
2 dried Pasilla chili peppers
2 dried New Mexico chili peppers
1 large fresh jalapeño pepper
½ large yellow onion, cut into wedges (The other half used as garnish)
4 large peeled garlic cloves left whole
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons roasted or toasted ground cumin (if you can’t find this, toast ground cumin yourself in a small dry saute pan over medium heat until fragrant)
1 ½ teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
¼ cup masa harina (golden corn flour)
4 tablespoons lard, divided
3 cups beef stock or broth, divided
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Chopped yellow onion, for garnish
Sliced fresh jalapeño, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Cut the strings from the chuck and lay out the pieces. Trim each piece of visible fat or gristle then cut the meat into one-inch sized pieces. You should have about three pounds of usable meat after trimming a roast that started off as five pounds. Some of that weight is liquid that gets absorbed into the packing pads and the rest of the waste is fat and scarps. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
Heat a tea kettle with water to boiling.
In a dry cast iron skillet heated over medium heat, toast the dried chili peppers whole for about 1-2 minutes on both sides. They will become dark and blackened. After toasting all of the dried peppers, pull off and discard stem then tip stem-side down and shake out the seeds. You may need to split them down the center if the seeds don’t come out when tipped.
Place all of the toasted, stemmed and seeded peppers into a metal or glass bowl and cover with the boiling hot water. Place a plate or cover over the top and let sit for 30 minutes. Do not discard soaking liquid.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
While peppers are softening, heat the skillet back up and toast the whole jalapeño, the onion wedges, and the garlic cloves for 3-5 minutes on each side to blacken.
Seed and stem the jalapeno then place all in a blender.
Add peppercorns into hot skillet and toast for 30 seconds then add to the blender.
After 30 minutes, add the soaked peppers to the blender in with the other ingredients and add two cups of the soaking liquid, salt, cumin, oregano and the masa harina. Puree this mixture to a paste and set aside.
In a 4–5-quart Dutch oven, heat two tablespoons of the lard over medium high heat and once melted and shimmering hot, start cooking the beef in small batches so that the pieces do not touch each other, about two minutes per side. Half way through cooking batches, add the remaining two tablespoons of lard and continue searing. I seared six batches, placing onto a plate as I seared.
Keep the heat on medium high and add one cup of the beef broth to deglaze the pan then immediately add the contents of the blender. (Be careful of splattering)
Pour the remaining two cups of broth into the blender and puree just to loosen the paste stuck to the sides and add that to the chili and stir.
Add the beef along with any liquid that accumulated on the plate and bring the chili to a bubble, cover and place in the oven for 2 hours.
After two hours, remove cover, stir and cook 30 more minutes to thicken.
Remove from the oven and stir in the molasses and vinegar and cook on the stove top five minutes just to blend the flavors.
Serve hot with chopped yellow onion, slices of fresh jalapeño and a dollop of sour cream.
Keywords: Texas Chili