Total Calories: 515
In a 6-quart saucepan, sear beef (cubed or coarsely ground) in oil until beef color is gray, not brown. Add water, bay leaves, chili powder, salt, garlic, comino seeds, oregano, red pepper, pepper, sugar, paprika, and onion flakes. Simmer, covered, 2 hours. Cool. Refrigerate overnight so flavors will mellow.
Remove top layer of solidified fat. Reheat. With a little cold water make a paste of flour and cornmeal. Add paste to chili. To obtain a smooth texture, cook and stir 5–7 minutes after thickening has been added. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Fun Fact: A popular saying among self-proclaimed chili purists is, “If you know beans about chili, you know chili ain’t got no beans.” The concept that beans do not belong in chili may be further credited to the fact that most official chili cook-offs do not allow beans. In many cases, a chili will be disqualified if it contains beans, considered filler. Perhaps this is because beef was plentiful and cheap in cattle towns of the Southwest. As chili spread east into areas where beef was more expensive, however, chili made with beans became more prevalent.
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