Big Red All Beef Chili

Chili is uniquely American and was created in San Antonio, Texas, around the 1850's. In Texas this is called a “bowl of red," and has no beans and is only beef. This recipe takes 4 to 5 hours of kitchen time and is based on a Paul Prudhomme recipe. It has chilies and cumin in multiple sections so tally up. Remember, chili is the dish, chile is the pepper. The picture is a soffritto of peppers, onion, celery and garlic that will make you want to stop and eat it right there. Courage. Follow the recipe. It gets better Click here for the beef and bean recipe. Remember Chili is the dish, chile is the pepper.
Texas Red.
Yield 16 cups

beef seasoning mix:
1 tablespoon ground Guajillo chile pepper
1 tablespoon ground hot Arbol chile pepper
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons dried sweet basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 pounds beef top round, cut into half-inch dice
3 dried ancho or poblano peppers (or 1 Jalepeño and 2 Pasilla)
3 dried Arbol peppers or any small, thin hot red chile peppers
6 dried Serrano or Guajillo peppers (or 2 Serrano, 2 Jalapeño, 2 California)
1/4 pounds salt pork cut into quarter-inch dice (alt. Boston pork butt, or bacon)
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
6 cups chopped onions, divided use
6 cups chopped green bell peppers, divided use
3 cups chopped celery, divided use
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
6 cups beef stock (or chicken or pork stock)
8 medium fresh tomatoes, peeled and smashed with their juices
1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 Select 'The Pot.' This large heavy cauldron that will contain a gallon. When chopping chiles reserve a few tops. Chile heads make a whimsical garnish.
2 Preheat the oven to 350°F.
3 Combine beef seasoning mix ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl.
4 Sprinkle 1/4 cup of mix over meat and work in with your hands. Set rest of beef seasoning aside.
5 Ground chiles: Place dried anchos, arbols, and serrano on a baking pan and dry them in the oven until brittle, about 10 to 15 minutes. When peppers are cool enough to handle, break them apart by hand into a food processor bowl. Blend into a fine powder, about seven tablespoons. Set ground chiles aside.
6 Place salt pork in The Pot over medium heat. Cover and cook uncovering the pot occasionally to scrape the bottom, until the salt pork is a deep brown color, about 30 minutes. At the bottom of the pot is a film that looks like ground red pepper. Remove with slotted spoon and set browned salt pork aside.
7 Turn the heat up high. When the fat in the pot is hot, add 1/2 the beef. Cook, turning once or twice, until browned, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Then brown the remaining 1/2 beef and remove to the bowl.
8 Set heat to medium. Divide 2 cups onions, 2 cups bell peppers, 1 cup of celery, and set reserved vegetable mix aside. Add all the garlic, the rest of the vegetables, and remaining beef seasoning mix to the pot. Stir this soffritto well, cover, and cook 8 to 10 minutes. Add the bay leaves, cover and cook, uncovering occasionally to stir, about 12 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until the vegetables are sticking to the bottom of the pot, about 6 minutes. Stir in the ground chiles and the browned beef. Cook until the meat sticks and forms a hard crust on the bottom of the pot, about 20 minutes.
9 Meanwhile, place the browned salt pork and 1 cup of the stock in the container of a blender and process until thoroughly blended.
10 When the meat has formed a crust on the bottom of the pot, stir in the salt pork stock mixture and scrape the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes, the reserved vegetable mix, and 2 cups of the stock. Scrape the bottom of the pot well and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes. Cover the pot and cook over medium-high heat 6 minutes.
11 Meanwhile, place cornmeal in a small skillet over medium-high heat and toast, flipping the cornmeal and shaking the skillet constantly until the cornmeal is light brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set toasted cornmeal aside.
12 Add the toasted cornmeal to the pot and scrape the bottom. Stir in remaining 3 cups stock and the cumin. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat.
13 Add chile heads. Simmer for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Scrape occasionally if the mixture starts to stick.
14 Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight and reheat before serving. Fantastic with toasted corn tortillas and butter.

notes NOTE: Part of the charm of this dish and its latitude is you can use whatever chile peppers are available in your area, whole dried or ground. Buy pure
ground chile peppers, not commericial chili powder. Whatever chile peppers you are able to find, taste a bit to insure they have the right heat.
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