No Texan worth his or her ten-gallon hat would put beans in chili. This one's all beef, calling on beer and freshly ground cumin to give it distinction. Masa harina, the finely ground corn used for corn tortillas, is often used to thicken soups or chili.
1In a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the oil. Brown beef in batches, adding more oil as necessary and transferring meat with a slotted spoon to a large stockpot when well browned. Do not crowd skillet.
2Reduce heat to moderately low. Add onion and garlic and saute until softened (about 10 minutes). Add to stockpot along with broth, beer, the water, chili powder, tomato, tomato paste, and oregano.
3In a small skillet over low heat, toast cumin seed until fragrant; do not allow to burn. Grind in an electric mini-chopper or with a mortar and pestle. Add to stockpot.
4Over high heat bring mixture to a simmer. Add salt, cayenne, and more chili powder to taste. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, partially covered, until beef is tender (about 1-1/2 hours). Check occasionally and add more broth if mixture seems dry. If chili is too thin when meat is tender, stir in up to 2 tablespoons masa harina. Cook an additional 5 minutes to thicken. Serve chili hot.