- 1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight
- 1 large onion peeled and halved, half of it diced
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon rendered lard, bacon fat, tallow or neutral cooking oil
- 1 pound sirloin, tri-tip, flat-iron or flank steak, cut into large dice
- 1 pound ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon each of cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 8-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
- ¾ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup masa harina corn flour
- ½ cup water
- Kosher salt, to taste (optional)
Add the beans, half onion and bay leaves to a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are tender, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, heat a large heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven and add the tablespoon of rendered fat or cooking oil and heat until the fat is shimmering. Sauté the chopped beef until slightly caramelized. Push the beef to one side of the pot, add the diced onion and sauté until translucent. Remove the beef and onions and reserve in a small bowl.
Begin adding the ground beef to the pot a small amount at a time so as to not crowd the pot (add more fat if needed) and brown. Push the beef to one side of the pot and add the garlic. Mix in the ground beef as soon as you smell the garlic and begin breaking the beef up with the back of a wooden spoon, mixing with garlic. Return the chopped beef and onions to the pot, along with spices tomato paste, mixing to combine. Add the tomatoes, stock and vinegar. Stir, then cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer about 45 minutes, checking the mixture occasionally; if it gets too dry, add ½ water or stock to the mixture.
In a small bowl combine masa harina with ½ cup water, mixing with a fork. Add the masa to the pot and mix well to thicken. When the beans are tender, incorporate them into the ground beef mixture and simmer for another 30 minutes to allow flavors to incorporate. Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired.
To serve: Top with crumbled queso fresco, chopped green onions, cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.