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Texas Chili

3 pounds lean beef, cubed or coarsely ground 
1/4 cup salad oil 
6 cups water 
2 bay leaves 
6 tablespoons chili powder 
1 tablespoon salt 
10 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
1 teaspoon oregano leaves, crushed 
1/2 teaspoon red pepper 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
1 tablespoon sugar 
3 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika 
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes 
3 tablespoons flour 
6 tablespoons cornmeal 

In a 6-quart saucepan, sear beef (cubed or coarsely ground) in salad oil until beef color is gray, not brown. Add water, bay leaves, chili powder, salt, garlic, cumin seeds, oregano, red pep- per, pepper, sugar, paprika and onion flakes. Simmer, covered, 2 hours. Cool. Refrigerate overnight so flavors will mellow. Remove top layer of solidified fat. Reheat. With a little cold water make a paste of flour and cornmeal. Add paste to chili. To obtain a smooth texture, cook and stir 5-7 minutes after thickening has been added. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Serves 6.