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I have a confession to make. I’m not proud of it, but I felt like you should know.

I put beans in a pot of chili yesterday.

Here’s my chili recipe, which is the one and only true authentic chili recipe (just like everyone else’s).

Chili Colorado

  • 2 lbs meat (stew beef, ground beef, beef, elk, moose, elk, venison, bear, elk, jackrabbit, or even God help us lamb or mutton. Jackalope is excellent, but be careful, those things are vicious. Save pork, javelina, and your obnoxious neighbor kid for green chili.)
  • 2 chopped onions. Big ones, why mess with a medium onion?
  • How much garlic you got? Throw it in, smashed or chopped. 6-7 cloves at least.
  • 1 Tsp lard

Now, there’s a place where I go slightly astray because I can’t find good lard. Real lard is quite soft; most store lard is somewhat hydrogenated, which makes it more solid and stable, but hydrogenated fats include a lot of trans-fats, which seem to be associated with health problems. I’m not ambitious enough to buy and render pork scraps, and I don’t know of anywhere to get leaf lard, so I use olive oil or canola oil.

Soften the onions and garlic in the lard in a heavy pot or a dutch oven. Add the meat, and let it brown a bit. If you let the onions brown, it adds some interesting flavors but it gets too sweet for my taste. Now add:

  • One package Fernandez Brothers Prepared Chili Powder.

Yes, I could make my own, but why? Fernandez Brothers’, from my home town of Alamosa Colorado, is the Platonic Ideal of all chili powders. They’ll mail order. (719) 589-6043. They’ve got pretty much anything else you need to cook Mexican food too.

  • 1 Tsp (heavy) Mexican Oregano

Stir them up, coating everything with the Red Food Of The Gods. Add:

  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste

and lots of water. Doesn’t hurt to put a bottle of beer in the chili as well. Or in the cook.

Stir until reasonably smooth and well-blended, and then simmer low until everything is nicely combined and the meat is tender — anything from a half hour for ground beef to 3 days for the jackalope. Stir it fairly often if on the stove, as it gets thick and can tend to stick. Or put it in the oven at 225°F for a couple hours.