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Chili Without Beans

1 kg beef chuck cut into small 1cm cubes
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
2 dried ancho peppers, stemmed, seeded and quartered, optional
2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp flour
14 oz can of diced tomatoes, with the juice
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated orange zest

Put in a small sauce pan the acho peppers with 2 cups of water and
boil the liquid for five minutes. Turn off the heat and let soften
for five minutes.

Tranfer the chilies to a blender with 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid.
Keep the remaining liquid. Add the jalapeno peppers and puree the
chilies until smooth. Strain the puree through a sieve into the
reserved soaking liquid, pressing the solids through with a spoon.

Heat about 1 Tbsp of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add
part of the beef cubes and brown them all over, about 8 minutes.
Transfer the cubes into a pot. Repeat with the rest of the cubes,
adding oil if needed.

Add 1/2 Tbsp of oil to the skillet and cook the onions, celery and
garlic. Saute the vegetables for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
Stir in the ginger, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, black pepper
and cook for one minute. Add the flour and cook one more minute,
stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture to the pot with the meat.

Pour the reserved chili mixture (or just the chopped jalapenos)
with 2 cups of water into the pot. Stir in the tomatoes and the
juice of the can along with the bay leaf, salt and orange zest.

Cook the mixture uncover, over very low heat until the meat is
tender: 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Do not allow to boil. You may add 1/2
cup of water at the time if it becomes too tick.


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