2 pounds beef tenderloin, round or other cut for quick cooking
4 ounces good quality smokehouse-style slab bacon
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chili paste from ancho chili powder
2 tablespoons toasted and ground cumin seed
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup crushed plum tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup Zinfandel or other full-bodied red wine
1 cup hot beef stock or broth
Trim any sinews or connective tissue the beef may have that would toughen during cooking. Cut the meat into 1-inch square chunks. Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch thick slices. In a heavy bottomed casserole, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and reserve. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings. Saute the onion and garlic in the remaining drippings until they are soft and translucent, but not browned.
Add the beef and quickly brown on all sides. Add the chili paste, cumin, cayenne, sugar, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes to release flavors then add the wine. Reduce the wine until the pan is nearly dry before adding the stock. Simmer the beef in the stock for no more than 5 minutes, to prevent the meat from toughening. Add the diced bacon during the last minutes of cooking to extract its smoky flavor and add its distinctive qualities to the finished dish.
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