THE Chili

Because this is THE chili recipe you'll ever only need again.  I haven't made chili for years and had all the ingredients so I thought, why not?  My hungry husband, after a long day at work, sat down, took his first bite and said "Oh man, this is the best f***ing chili I've ever had in my life."

Ingredients (serves 4 hungry people)
1½ (80/20% fat) pounds ground beef + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1½ pounds pork butt, cut to 1-inch cubes + 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt (don't like pork? substitute with boneless beef chuck roast)
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 (14 to 16 ounces) large yellow onion, cut to ½-inch pieces
1 sweet red bell pepper, deseed, cut to ½-inch pieces
¼ cup sherry
1 (28 ounces) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 (14½ ounces) can diced tomatoes in juice
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ground cayenne
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ketchup
1½ tablespoons Nescafe instant coffee granules + ¼ cup hot water
2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, liquids drained and discarded 
1 teaspoon corn starch + 2 teaspoons cold water (optional)
cilantro and red onions mix, finely chopped, to serve
scallions, finely chopped, to serve
whole sour cream, to serve 
Fresh Guacamole, to serve
Pico De Gallo Salsa, to serve 

1.  In a stockpot over medium-high heat, cook ground beef (with 1 teaspoon kosher salt) for 5 minutes breaking beef up with a spatula as you're cooking.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer drained ground beef into a bowl.  Set aside.  Discard fat and juices in stockpot.

2.  In the same unwashed stockpot, return to medium-high heat and cook pork (with 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt) for 5 minutes.  Transfer content of pot, pork including all juices, into another bowl and set aside.

3.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in the unwashed pot and saute garlic, onions and sweet red bell peppers for 3 minutes.  

4.  Deglaze pot with sherry, scraping up all the yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pot.  Stir for 2 minutes.

5.  Add canned tomatoes and its juices, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, cayenne, salt and ketchup.  Dissolve instant coffee granules with ¼ cup of boiling hot water.  Add to chili.    Bring chili to a boil, cover with a lid, then simmer on low for 1 hour.  Stir every 10 minutes so the bottom doesn't stick.  Prior to everytime you stir, use a large spoon to skim off any excess fat floating on top of the chili.

6.   Add drained black beans to chili.  Stir in chocolate chips until they've melted.  Simmer for 1 more hour.

7.  If, at this point, the chili is not as thick as you'd prefer, make a corn starch slurry by mixing cornstarch and cold water in a little bowl.  Pour slurry into chili while constantly stirring the chili.  Simmer on low for 30 more minutes.  (If not adding corn starch slurry, still simmer on low for 30 minutes.)  I add in the slurry because my guy "DOES NOT LIKE SOUPY CHILI!".  Geez.  It's really not soupy without it, but, just to make sure...

8.  Serve when you're ready.  I will make this early in the day, turn off the heat.  Reheat when its dinner time.  This hearty chili tastes SO GOOD with cold condiments, really enhancing the flavors.  Seriously, put out the Fresh Guacamole, Pico de Gallo Salsa, and creamy sour cream!