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Reading this recipe, I realize I will never cook this again. Too damn hot. I ran across it while searching this and that on my computer. I know I made a version of this, and it wasn’t bad. My chili has evolved since, but here is a snapshot from the end of 2000, complete with the cocky claim at the top. Love to you all.

Attempting to codify this chili is like trying to describe jazz to a deaf person.

2 lbs of ground beef
3 cans of beans, one of each kind (black, red, kidney)
1-2 cups of chili powder (add throughout the process)
1/2 cup cayenne pepper (add throughout the process)
16 oz bottle Jack Daniels (you’re not going to need the whole thing)
3 bottles brown ale (you probably won’t need all of it)
3 jalapeno peppers, fresh (not canned)
1 onion
1 bottle minced garlic (add most throughout process. Don’t need it all)
1 cup honey (add throughout)
A liberal amount of Tabasco sauce
4 cans tomato sauce, no salt.
2 cans tomato paste, no salt.
Some grape tomatoes
1 small can cranberry sauce, jellied.

If there is anything resembling a “secret” to this chili, it’s in how and when you do things. Here is the basic order of events:

— Cook down the meat
— Prep the peppers and other vegetables
— Add the beans, tomato sauce and veggies.
— Cook it for a bit…
— Serve.

I’ll try to break it down further.

Cook down the meat

This is really best done in the pot you’re cooking the chili in, for obvious reasons (why dirty more than you have to? Also, it allows you to evolve the recipe, adding things as you go).

Put the ground beef into the pot, turning up the heat to, say, 8 (of 10). Add some ale, some Jack Daniels, some chili powder, some cayenne. Let it cook, stir constantly. At this point, add the grape tomatoes. I crush them into the mix, handful at a time, stirring them as I go.

Prep the peppers

Cut up the peppers, onion, and whatever else you want in there. You can simmer them in a mix of honey and Jack Daniels (70-30 blend of JD and honey), or marinate them in same if you’ve got all day. Once you’ve got your veggies ready, put them into the mix at whatever point you feel is appropriate. I try putting them in throughout the process, so that the taste builds in the mix.

Add the beans…

This one is probably the most optional of the recipe. Reason being, not everyone likes beans. I don’t mind them myself, and they extend the chili nicely. The tomato sauce and paste also extend and thicken the sauce up. Of course, you have to compensate for the enormous amount of tomato and bean in the mix. This is also why I use canned beans. First, prepping the beans from a dry state is a pain in the ass. Also, the bean taste makes it too “planty”. Anyway, that’s my thing. You do what you wish.

Cook it for a bit

That one ought to be obvious… In any case, let it simmer for at least a half-hour under medium heat. Longer under lower heat is better…

Serve

I serve it as an open-face chili dog, well, because I want to. Chicken or turkey franks, of course. Not like it matters, given what they put in hot dogs, but whatever. I read about this cheese mix in a GQ article, a mix of feta and monterey jack. It’s good, and works with the sweet taste this chili has. But cheddar works too, of course…

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