Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; cook onion and garlic until onions are translucent. This recipe is a Texas chili con carne that nods toward classic, traditional versions, which is to say it’s simply beef (cubed chuck) that’s been slow-braised in a thick soup of dried chilies and crushed tomatoes that’s seasoned with toasted cumin and Mexican oregano.
Pour six tablespoons of the oil into a very large (8 – 12 quart) heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and when it shimmers, toast the chilies in the oil until fragrant—about 15 seconds per side—and transfer them to the hot beef broth, submerging them beneath the surface.
If you do have time and forethought to soak your beans for any amount of time, it may help reduce the chance that one or two will be slightly undercooked in your bowl (nobody complained, but I had one bite with a slightly undercooked bean, so, ya know, full disclosure and all) but again, it’s not necessary.
John Myroro, who says his great-grandfather won the Texas State Fair chili cook-off back in the 1930s,” says that the thought of adding beans” would have seemed as odd to his great-grandfather as the thought of adding dumplings.” Also, Myroro says: No tomatoes.” So-called Texas-style chili often contains only meat, chilies, some spices, and perhaps onions and garlic.
My crack expert advice: We were sinfully placed off the main track, tucked into a courtyard away from the lawns, which we didn’t so much realize—or mind, since we were between two margarita booths, including Rio Grill’s, where Cy Yontz had some boffo buffalo chili going with smoked gouda and blood-orange-serrano pepper margies from Eddie Banaszek.