- 3 medium dried chili pods, stems and seeds removed, spread flat
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 8 ounces bacon
- 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 2 medium white onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ¾ cups beef broth
- 1 28-ounce can puréed tomatoes
- 2 poblano chiles, stems and seeds removed
- For the chile powder: Place the chiles flat in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and cook, turning as needed, until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool. Put the cumin seeds in the hot pan and stir until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Using scissors, cut the chiles into small strips. Using a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder, grind in batches into a powder. Pour into a bowl. Grind the cumin seeds into a powder and add to the bowl. Add the oregano and garlic powder. If the mixture is still coarse, grind again until fine. Reserve 3 1/2 tablespoons for the chili; save the rest in a jar.
- For the chili: In a Dutch oven over medium heat, stir the cumin seeds until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour onto a work surface and using a small, heavy skillet, crush them coarsely. Set aside.
- Return the pot to medium-high heat, add the bacon and fry until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Increase the heat to high. Working in small batches, add the beef cubes to the pot and cook, stirring, until well browned on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions to the remaining bacon drippings and sauté until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
- Add the crushed cumin, reserved chili powder, paprika, oregano, black pepper, thyme, salt and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Crumble in the bacon and add the broth, tomatoes, 1 cup water, poblanos and the browned beef. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to low, cover partly and simmer for 2 hours, until the meat is very tender. Add water as needed to maintain a good chili consistency.
- Remove the poblanos, purée them in a food processor or blender and return the purée to the pot. Stir well, simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors and serve.
- Serve with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and slice of sourdough bread