Texas Beef Chili

Tender chunks of beef enveloped in a deep, spicy and smoky sauce

INGREDIENTS:
1 tbsp ground ancho chili pepper
1 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tbsp cornmeal
1 1 kg beef chuck roast trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2.5 cm cubes
6 slices bacon, cut into 1 cm pieces
2 teaspoons salt
2 small or 1 large onions, cut into 2.5cm chunks
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 small or 1 large jalapeño chiles, cored, seeded and finely diced
2 cups low sodium chicken broth 2 cups water
1 can lager beer
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder(optional)
YIELD: 4 small servings, pair with veggies
COURSE: Beef
CUISINE: American
Prep Time: 45 min
Cooking Time: 3 hrs 0 min
Total Time: 3 hrs 45 min
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Mix the chili powders, cumin, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, and cornmeal in a small bowl and stir in 1/2 cup water to form a thick paste; set aside. Season the beef with the salt; set aside. In a large pot or Dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently so it doesn't stick, until the fat renders and the bacon crisps, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour all but a few teaspoons of fat from the pot into a small bowl; set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high. Sear the meat in three batches (it should be in a single layer), until well browned on one side, about 4 minutes per batch, adding more of the reserved bacon fat as necessary. (Hint: Once the meat is in the pan, don't stir or touch it -- leaving it alone will allow it to develop a nice brown crust on one side.) Place the seared meat on a plate. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the pot (it will smoke), and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to release all of the flavorful brown bits. Pour the dark liquid over the seared meat. Reduce the heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat to the pot. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook 2 minutes more. Add the reserved chili paste and sauté until fragrant, a few minutes (it will look clumpy and stick to the bottom a bit -- that's okay). Add the beef broth and stir with a whisk until the spice mixture is completely dissolved. Scrape the bottom of the pot with the whisk to release any spices. Stir in the water, beer, crushed tomatoes, molasses, and cocoa powder. Add the reserved bacon and seared beef (along with the juices from the beef on the bottom of the plate) back to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and