Makes four servings (about six cups)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 pounds beef round steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

5 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon masa harina dissolved in 1/2 cup water

Cooked rice, for serving (optional)

Bread, for serving (optional)

Sour cream (optional)

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-low heat and sauté onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beef, raise heat to medium-high and sauté until browned.

2. Add chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano and cayenne pepper. Stir in the tomato sauce and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, partly covered, for 1 hour 10 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in masa harina mixture. Return to low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. If desired, serve with rice or bread, and sour cream.

Adapted from “Chili Nation,” by Jane and Michael Stern