A great beef chili should be a mainstay of every home. In its essence, chili is a form of beef stew and employs a long, slow, moist-heat cooking process to tenderize tough meat. For the best meat, you need to choose cuts from the shoulder; blade steaks or a chuck-eye roast provide plenty of flavor and a silky texture.
This recipe uses a twist on the ready-made chili powder, which can give chili a gritty feel, as well as a rather dull flavor. Instead, we toast dried chiles and then process them with flavorful ingredients and chicken broth to make a deeply flavored, smooth textured paste.
Finally, we know that stews of any kind, and chili in particular, can be time-consuming to prepare. So while the chile paste, vegetables, and sauce are simmering, we brown the beef in batches, separately in a 12-inch skillet, and then deglaze the pan with good old beer. Its flavor, a perfect match with chili, only enhances the overall dish. Then it all goes into the oven, where the all-around heat cooks the meat, beans, and everything else to tender perfection.
Serve this chili with the usual garnishes. We like diced avocado, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, lime wedges, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese.