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The best way to make a great pot of chili, and to keep the arguments down, is to use a big, heavy pot. It should be so heavy that you can hardly lift it onto the stove. A thin pot allows the burner heat to pass right through the pot bottom and into the chili, too fast. The temperature flucuates of the burner will get away from you and if you turn your back for a second too long, the good stuff at the bottom of the pot will burn. (Once that happens, you might as well throw the pot and its contents away. The chili will most definitely be ruined and the pot will never be the same as it was before the disaster.) A heavy pot has a mass of metal to even out the heat changes and prevent many problems.

Along with the pot, an accomplished chili chef needs a wooden spoon, for stirring and sampling. The best reason for this is that one of the best parts of cooking chili is sampling it and savoring the delightful changes that chili passes through as the ingredients and spices are added, and one taste from a metal spoon which is too hot (temperature wise), will not only cool your enthusiasm, but upset your tongue and taste buds. This, in turn will destroy your taste accuracy, and you will find the finished product is not what you expected. 8-10 slices fresh bacon 3 Italian sausage patties 2 lb. coarsely ground lean beef chuck 2.5 lb. round beef, cut into thumbnail sized pieces 3 garlic cloves 1 big tbsp. paprika 1 big tbsp. oregano 3/4 tbsp. cumin 1 2/3 tbsp. salt 3/4 tbsp. black pepper, coarsely ground 1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper 6-9 tbsp. chili powder 2 Bermuda onions 2 cans beef broth 6 c. canned tomatoes 2 cans (1 lb. each), drained pinto beans or 1.5 cans (1 lb. 4 oz. each) drained kidney beans 1 can regular beer

Into your pot put 2 walnut sized balls of beef suet, 8-10 slices of bacon cut into small pieces and 3 Italian sausage patties. Cook out the fat. Don't scrimp on the fat; chili is akin to good tomato sauce for pasta, or curry, in that there must be enough fat to grab and suspend the powders and liquids if you want a satin-smooth sauce.

It is very important to use meat fat, especially some pork fat. NEVER use oil or butter. This will spoil the chili and usually causes those who eat it to spend large periods of time in one of the smaller rooms of the house on the next day, where they will devote the hours to wondering about the origin of your ancestors.

Next add 2 pounds of coarsely ground lean beef chunk, and 2.5 pounds round beef cut into thumb-nail sized pieces. The beef pieces are added to give the chili some "bite"; after all, this is chili, not soup, but all ground beef may be used if preferred. Cook until the meat is lightly browned. Next add 3 minced cloves of garlic; cook lightly, add 1 big teaspoon paprika, 1 big teaspoon of oregano, 3/4 teaspoon of cumin, 1 2/3 (maybe less, if desired) teaspoon of salt, 3/4 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper, 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 6-9 tablespoons (more or less, to taste and experience) chili powder. Cook all this lightly in the meat juices and meat. Remember that all spices vary in strength depending on their brand and age. The key here is to taste, taste, taste. No recipe can hit all these ingredients on the mark, nor can one batch be the same as the last. Frequent use of the wooden spoon is important.

In an iron frying pan, heat 2-4 walnut sized pieces of beef suet; cook out the fat, then add 2 Bermuda onions, coarsely chopped. Cook onions until golden brown, until they almost burn. Deglaze with 1 can beef broth and add to the meat pot. Cook the chili for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1 more can beef broth, 3 cans measures of water and 6 cups canned tomatoes and juice, mashing the tomatoes into the chili. Cover, simmer slowly for 1.5-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Uncover, cook down for about 1/2 hour, adding 2 cans (1 pound drained kidney beans (best choice). Finally, to add lightness, add 1 can of regular beer. Cook, stir and taste the seasonings. For thicker chili, cook some more, with the pot uncovered. For thinner chili, stop cooking here, or look for a suitable soup recipe. This will serve 6-8 generously.

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