Chuckwagon Chili

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This is the proper way to make chili. Use dried beans, start them soaking two nights before you intend to eat. The next evening, start the chili. The following morning, it's ready. Dried beans hold up much better than canned, which turn to mush if cooked for this long.


  • 3/4 lb dry pinto beans
  • 3/4 lb dry kidney beans
  • 3 lbs chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 oz country-style sidemeat, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 2 small cans tomato paste
  • 1 14oz can diced tomato
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapenos
  • 2 fresh banana peppers
  • 1 charred or smoked new mexico chile
  • 4 tbsp ancho chile powder
  • 4 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp hot california chile powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp L&P worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Frank's Red Hot cayenne sauce
  • 1 - 2 cups water

Soak beans in lots of fresh water for 24 hours. Drain. Put in crock pot on high with charred pepper, bay leaves and chicken stock.

In a large dutch oven over med-high heat, Render the sidemeat until crisp, add a tablespoon of oil and heat unti almost smoking. Lightly season chuck cubes with salt and pepper, and brown about 1/4 of the meat lightly on all sides. Remove meat with slotted spoon and dump into the crockpot. Repeat three more times with 3 more tbsp oil and the other 3/4 of the meat cubes. Don't do this all at once or the meat won't brown properly, it'll just steam. Regulate the heat so you don't burn the collected juices on the bottom of the pot. Brown is ok, just not black!

Add another tbsp oil to the pot and saute the green bell pepper for 4 minutes, scraping up all the fond from the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, banana pepper, and garlic and saute until soft. Add the tomato paste and spices and saute until the paste darkens a little, 3-4 more minutes. As soon as you are really scared of burning it, dump in the diced tomato and stir. Add the worcestershire, water, and cayenne sauce, stir, and dump the whole thing into the crock pot. Stir the crock pot, bring to a simmer on high, then switch to "low" and stir again. Allow to cook on low overnight, or about 8 hours.

Garnish with green onion and sour cream and serve with cornbread.