1 medium onion, peeled and diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb beef stew meat or chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp chili powder (see ingredient notes)
pinch of cayenne pepper or to taste
3 8-oz cans tomato sauce or 1 1/2 cups homemade sauce
1/4 cup masa harina (optional)
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Sweat onions and garlic gently for about 10 minutes -- cook them until they're nearly translucent, but not brown.
Move garlic and onions to the edges of the skillet, add a bit more oil, and brown the meat over medium heat. When meat is nearly browned, season generously with salt and pepper and add chili powder and cayenne (if using). Stir to coat thoroughly.
Move contents of skillet to crockpot and add tomato sauce. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours, then switch to LOW heat and cook for two hours, or longer if desired.
If using masa harina, stir it in very thoroughly at least 15 minutes before serving and continue to cook on LOW. The masa will thicken the chili nicely. Season with salt, pepper, and (if desired) additional cayenne pepper just before serving.
Serves 4 to 6