2 pounds ground sirloin
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 dried Ancho chilies, seeded and stemmed
3 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
4 slices meaty bacon or 1/4 pound slab, finely diced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons (a couple scant palmfuls) cumin
1 tablespoon (a scant palmful) coriander
1 tablespoon (a scant palmful) sweet paprika
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) allspice
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) oregano or marjoram
1 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo, pasted or finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes with chilies
1 15-ounce can pinto beans or black beans
2 tablespoons masa harina, polenta or grits or tortilla crumbs
Minced white onions
Sour cream or crème fraiche
Combine meat with baking soda and 2 tablespoons water, let stand 30 minutes. This will make meat brown deeper and crispier.
Soak Anchos in stock over low heat to reconstitute the peppers; purée in a food processor.
Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add oil, 2 turns of the pan, and bacon; render 1-2 minutes. Add beef and brown and crumble until crispy and deep brown. Add salt and pepper, dry spices, stir to toast them; add onions, garlic and chipotle paste and cook to soften, 7-8 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir, add Worcestershire, Ancho purée, tomatoes, beans and 2 cups water. Add masa or cornmeal and simmer to thicken 20-30 minutes.
Serve in shallow bowls with toppings.