Texas Chili Con Carne

6       pequin chilies (small but very hot chilies!)
6       ancho chilies (large dried chilies)
2 lb    stewing beef, cut up into 1/2" cubes
1 T     olive oil
2       bay leaves
1 T     cumin, ground
2       cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp   oregano, preferably Mexican
2 T     paprika
1 tsp   sugar
        coarse salt
        fresh ground black pepper

Tear the chilies in strips and pour two cups boiling water over them.
Let soak for 30 minutes.  Drain, reserving the liquid, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy casserole and brown the beef cubes.  Add the
chilie soaking liquid and bring to a boil.  Add the bay leaves, turn
down the heat and let simmer for an hour.  Meanwhile, puree the rest
of the ingredients, including the chilies, with a half cup of water,
or more if needed, in a blender or processor.  Add the puree to the
meat and let simmer for 30 minutes more, adding water as necessary.

Serves 4

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