I can't praise this chili enough! The meat melted in your mouth, the flavors tingled nicely all the way to your toes. I just won a chili cookoff with it so that might be a large part of the reason. The judges and the crowd loved it. I ran out within 30 minutes of it being opened to the public to taste. I did make a few changes: I used 3 lbs of cubed chuck steak in place of the ground chuck because I really like a meaty chili (obvisously so did the judges), I cooked 4 slices of bacon, then crumbled for the bacon bits and sauted the celery, onion and garlic in the drippings. My biggest piece of advice is prepare it the day before, let cool overnight, degrease really well and then reheat; the chili really developes a great flavor by doing this. I used my crockpot on low to keep it warm the day I served it.
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I can't praise this chili enough! The meat melted in your mouth, the flavors tingled nicely...