Chili

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I like my chili to have a slight flavor of burnt meat.

I hear you can make vegetarian chili but I suspect that vegetarians don't taste as good as beef and they probably complain more when you slaughter them. Charlie (the horse in the background) is a vegetarian but didn't get involved in this particular project.

Here, my faithful dog-american companion Miles is standing guard to make sure that none of the beef chunks I am grilling make a break for it. Shiloh Shepherds are like that: good guard dogs with a solid understanding of beef-herding behavior.

Here's how I make Chili.

Things You'll need:

Take the beef and pepper it a bit, start your grille burning, and drink the Guinness.

While the grill is heating peel the garlic and cut the pepper into long slices about 1/4" wide. (Toss the pepper guts) Put 1/2 of the garlic and all the olive oil into a large pot (3 or more gallon) and heat. Once the garlic starts to bubble and toast, add the red peppers and stir quickly. The red pepper should yellow and cook and make the oil a bit yellow. Turn the heat down and toss the hamburger in and brown it. I like to leave it fairly chunky. Drain the hamburger.

By now the grill is hot: put the beef on the grill. Depending on your dog, you may or may not want to watch over the beef. I like to cook the beef until it's starting to turn black and red on the outsides and still raw on the inside. I.e: high heat, lots of flame, cooked quickly. Get the beef back from the dog and take it inside, cutting it up into chunks about 1" x 1/2" or whatever suits. These days I go for some really big chunks about 2"x2" thrown in just for surprise value.

Add the beef to the pot, along with the chili powder, cloves, remaining garlic, jam, vietnamese chili garlic sauce, and tomato paste.

Empty beans into a collander and rinse them quickly then toss them into the pot.

Add tomatoes. I usually pull the tomatoes out from the cans one at a time, and squoosh them into the pot, then pull out the nasty stemmy bits. This makes a frightful mess. To counteract the mess, get another Guinness, if you have one handy. The tomato cans will be left with about 1/3 can of tomato juice - I usually add the juice from one can into the pot and throw most of the juice from the other away. This is how I adjust the thickness of the chili. There is another approach that is also quite good: add Guinness to it until the consistency is right. That also works quite well. If you have a sweet tooth (I do!) Cider Jack raspberry hard cider is a really good chili-thinner. I have also been known to thin chili with Jack Daniels. Pick one of these options and let yourself go wild. I use the vietnamese hot sauce to adjust the "heat" of the chili. I don't like it particularly hot. Toss in some Robert Rothschild raspberry hot nuclear death sauce if you want hot. Whatever.

I let my chili bubble for about 5 hours and then I don't eat it! I vacuum bag it with a tilia food-saver vacuum bagger. It's wonderful because you can make microwaveable "chili packs" that last for months (5 or 6 months is the longest I've tried and it was fine) in your freezer. I find that fresh chili hasn't got quite broken down properly like frozen and reheated chili.

Send me your suggestions or wild ideas for chili!