Beef Chili with Ancho, Mole and Cumin

Source: Bon Appétit - February 2009 by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook

1 tablespoon cumin
4 bacon slices, chopped
1 4-pound boneless chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 1/2 cups (or more) beef broth, divided
1/4 cup pure ancho chile powder
1/4 cup Texas-style chili powder blend (I didn't have that, what is it? I used New Mexico ground chili powder, Chipotle chili powder and a medium heat chili powder blend)
1 1/2 tablespoons mole paste (I had to make it, couldn't find in the store, then froze the leftovers, see recipe below)
2 teaspoons (or more) salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
2 tablespoons masa flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)

Optional garnishes:
warm, freshly cooked or drained canned black beans, kidney beans or pinto beans
chopped white, red or green onions
grated cheddar cheese, monterey jack cheese, or queso fresco
sliced fresh or pickled jalapeno chiles
tortilla chips or oyster crackers

Sauté bacon in large pot over medium high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to large bowl. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Working in 4 batches, sauté beef in drippings in pot until browned, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer beef and most drippings to bowl with bacon. Add onion and garlic to pot. Sauté until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth to pot. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Return beef, bacon, and any accumulated juices to pot. Mix in all the chili powders, mole paste, 2 teaspoons salt, vinegar, oregano, and cumin. Add 3 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to very low and simmer gently uncovered until beef is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/2 cupfuls if chili is dry, about 2 1/2 hours. Mix the masa in a quarter cup of warm water to make a slurry. Spoon it into the chili and bring back to a boil to thicken the chili. Season chili with salt, pepper, and cayenne, if desired. Add more broth if it's too thick.

Chili can be made 3 days ahead. Cool 1 hour. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over low heat.

Mole Sauce
Source: Allrecipes
Adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook

2 teaspoons oil (vegetable or olive oil)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
a little handful of cilantro, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
1 one can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1/4 cup almonds, sliced or chopped

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onion until tender. Mix in cocoa powder, cumin, cilantro, and garlic. Stir in the tomatoes and green chile peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes.  Let it cool a bit. Then whiz it with an immersion blender to make a smooth sauce, but be careful of splattering. Or you can also whiz the whole thing in the food processor.

Note: I put the leftovers in an ice cube tray and when it's frozen, put them in a ziploc bag and have a cube if I need one for a recipe.