We took inspiration from a handful of recipes and crafted this down to a 2 hour process that renders a recipe you'll hang onto the rest of your life.
1lb bacon (buy quality from the meat counter)
2.5lb lean ground beef
Coarse salt, fresh pepper
Brown the beef and season with coarse salt and fresh pepper. Set aside.
Chop the raw bacon and fry in the big saucepot the chili will eventually call home. Pull the bacon and set out on paper towels to soak up bacon grease.
1 yellow onion
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 red chili peppers, chopped with seeds removed
2 teaspoons cumin
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons oregano
Keep a fair amount of bacon grease in the pot and add in chopped yellow onion, garlic cloves, red chili peppers and spices. If you can't find red chili peppers, serrano peppers or jalapeños work fine too.
6 roma tomatoes, thick chop
2 cans diced tomatoes
6oz tomato paste
1 chipotle chili from can of chipotles in adobo sauce
1 cup water
Add tomato varieties with water and simmer in pot for 15 minutes to soften tomatoes and amplify flavors.
1 can red kidney beans, drained/rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained/rinsed
2 cinnamon sticks
8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves pulled from stems
2 bay leaves
1 cup water
Drop in beef and bacon from earlier. Add beans, cinnamon sticks, thyme, bay leaves, water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, lid up and simmer on low for 1 hour. You'll want to stir this every 5-10 minutes.
Once you bowl up the chili, mix in a liberal amount of cilantro and scallions. We actually don't use sour cream or cheese in this chili, but feel free to if you'd like. It's the same thing as when we see people add ketchup to an 8 hour braised roast. No need to run away from the flavors that all came together perfectly and mask them with overly processed ingredients. Enjoy the original for what it is.