This chili is rather good. I don't know that it is the best chili I've ever had but it is right up there with the best I've ever made and I've experimented quite a bit. It would be very spicy if made as written. I cut down the spice by leaving out the Tabasco, using a can of medium beans and cutting the chili powder down to 3 tablespoons and it still had quite a kick. Other changes I made: 3 cans of total beans versus 4, real bacon instead of bits, the entire can of beer (just cuz it was too early to drink the rest) and for the meat I used, 1 lb of stew meat, 1 lb lean ground beef and 1 lb of chicken thighs (don't wrinkle your nose - it's good!). After browning and sautéing where appropriate, I simmered for 2 1/2 hours on the stove, poured into my slow cooker and refrigerated all night. I put the slow cooker on low heat about 6 hours before dinner the next day and like I said it was very good. I thought it was going to be too soupy and it could have been a little thicker but it was fine. Probably more of a 4 1/2 star but since I've eaten better chili, I can't give it 5. Next time I make this and I will, I will cut the cayenne back to 1/2 a teaspoon and add 14 ounces less tomatoes. Depending on the time I might take a couple swigs of the beer before I pour it in.
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This chili is rather good. I don't know that it is the best chili I've ever had but it is...