Everyone has their own recipe for chili.  I imagine most don’t strictly follow a recipe but “wing it” as they go.  After the first few days of cold weather, my husband always asks for chili so I indulged him over the weekend.  I tried something different and it turned out well.

About 4-5 pounds of meat.  I used half chuck roast and half pork roast.  I cut the meat into 1” pieces, salted and peppered and then caramelized, in batches, in a braising pot. Place the cooked meat in a bowl.

After the meat is caramelized, using the same pan, sauted a roughly chopped spanish onion, about 5 cloves of minced garlic, 1 chopped green pepper, 1 chopped, seeded jalapeno (if you like it hot, add some or all of the seeds) and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Then turn up the heat and add a bottle of beer. I scraped the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and then turned the heat back down to medium and added 2-3 Teaspoons ground cumin, 1 Tablespoon oregano, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, the contents of a  24 oz. can of tomatoes (chopped, hole, whatever you have in the pantry.) and a couple tablespoons of cider vinegar.

Return the meats and their juices to the pan and bring to a boil.  Add chicken stock to thin if needed. Partially top with a lid and turn to a low simmer for approximately 2 hours.

After a couple of hours, the meat should be fairly easy to shred.  If not, keep simmering.

At this point, it is time for the beans.  Increase the heat and add 1 can each of pinto and red chili or however much you like. Along with the beans, add ½ – 1 Cup cornmeal. This will thicken the chili and add a rustic flavor. Boil for a minute and then simmer another ½ hour until the cornmeal is soft and cooked.

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