SERVES 6 – 8
Because it must make an impact in just one bite, competition chili is often too rich and salty for plain eating. We prefer this recipe from Carter Rochelle, a native Houstonian and chili connoisseur.
6 oz. suet, cut into small pieces
3 lbs. boneless chuck, trimmed and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
6 tbsp. chili powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup masa harina
4 cups beef broth, warm
3 tbsp. white vinegar
1. Melt suet in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Remove and discard any solid pieces of suet, then add beef, in batches if necessary, and brown, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, chili powder, salt, and pepper and mix well. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then sprinkle meat mixture with masa harina. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
3. Gradually stir in broth, 4 cups warm water, and vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, stirring frequently. Cook until meat is tender and begins to "melt" into sauce, about 4 hours; add water as necessary. Adjust seasoning with salt and cayenne pepper. Serve garnished with cilantro and accompanied by Tabasco sauce and saltines.