1/3 cup (approximately) corn oil
6 pounds beef chuck -- in 1/2-inch cubes
cup minced onion 1/3 cup minced garlic
3 cups (approximately) beef broth
3 cups flat beer
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup high-quality chili powder, or more -- to taste
6 pounds tomatoes (three 2 lb. cans) -- drained and chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
3 tablespoons cumin seed
Salt -- to taste Cayenne pepper -- to taste Masa harina or cornmeal -- if needed
1. In a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat, warm 3 tablespoons of th e oil. Brown beef in batches, adding more oil as necessary and transferring mea t with a slotted spoon to a large stockpot when well browned. Do not crowd skil let.
2. Reduce heat to moderately low. Add onion and garlic and saute until softened (about 10 minutes). Add to stockpot along with broth, beer, the water, chili p owder, tomato, tomato paste, and oregano.
3. In a small skillet over low heat, toast cumin seed until fragrant; do not al low to burn. Grind in an electric minichopper or with a mortar and pestle. Add to stockpot.
4. Over high heat bring mixture to a simmer. Add salt, cayenne, and more chili powder to taste. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, partially covered, until beef is tender (about 1-1/2 hours). Check occasionally and add more broth if mixture seems dry. If chili is too thin when meat is tender, stir in up to 2 tablespoons masa harina. Cook an additional 5 minutes to thicken. Serve chili hot.