Chili courtesy of the Pioneer Woman

We had a chili dinner with our small group on Monday and whose better recipe to use than the Pioneer Woman's! The recipe as-is should feed six to eight people, but since we had nine coming over (and five guys) I thought I better add some ingredients to make sure we had enough. You can see the original recipe here and my modified version below.
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce 
  • Two 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup masa harina (corn flour, found in the Mexican food section of many supermarkets--I actually found this in the flour section)
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Two15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded Cheddar, for serving 

Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.

After an hour, place the masa harina in a small bowl. Add a cup of water and stir together with a fork. Dump the masa mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more masa paste and /or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded Cheddar.

Next time, if I need to feed as many, I'll use beef broth instead of water for optimal flavor. I was glad I added what I did because we had a teensy bit left over even with the modifications. Don't skip out on the masa harina! It adds great flavor and such an interesting texture--it really is the secret ingredient. Of course, now I have a huge bag of masa harina that will just sit in my cupboard until I figure out another use for it. Tamales?

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