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  • 2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 dried Ancho chilies, seeded and stemmed
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 4 slices meaty bacon or 1/4 pound slab, finely diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (a couple scant palmfuls) cumin
  • 1 tablespoon (a scant palmful) coriander
  • 1 tablespoon (a scant palmful) sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) allspice
  • 1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) oregano or marjoram
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo, pasted or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans or black beans
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina, polenta or grits or tortilla crumbs
For the Toppings:
  • Fritos
  • Minced white onions
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Sour cream or crème fraiche


Serves: 6


Combine meat with baking soda and 2 tablespoons water, let stand 30 minutes. This will make meat brown deeper and crispier.
Soak Anchos in stock over low heat to reconstitute the peppers; purée in a food processor.

Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add oil, 2 turns of the pan, and bacon; render 1-2 minutes. Add beef and brown and crumble until crispy and deep brown. Add salt and pepper, dry spices, stir to toast them; add onions, garlic and chipotle paste and cook to soften, 7-8 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir, add Worcestershire, Ancho purée, tomatoes, beans and 2 cups water. Add masa or corn-meal and simmer to thicken 20-30 minutes.

Serve in shallow bowls with toppings.