Excellent base recipe. I made a few modifications, specifically, I used 1.5lbs of ground sirloin beef and 1.5lbs of sage sausage. I also used one can dark red kidney beans, one can light red kidney beans and one can of pinto beans instead of 3 cans of plain chili beans for variety. Regarding the peppers, I used 1 green and 1 red bell, a jalapeno and an Anaheim pepper for a decent amount of heat without aggravating my stomach.
Other suggestions: make sure that you mince your own fresh garlic. Also, making your own bacon bits from fresh bacon is best. There is no excuse for imitation bacon.
And, finally, the beer. First off, I am not a big fan of beer in general (I prefer whiskey), but if I'm going to consume beer, I prefer Light Lagers. That said, I used Bud Select in my Chili and the way to do this (regardless of your choice of beer) is to buy a 12 pack. As soon as you get to the kitchen, open your first beer and take two big gulps directly from the bottle (you'll cook off any bacteria), then pour your half-cup. Now, make sure that you have an non-empty, open bottle until you are to the simmering stage. I was on my fourth, but I'm 6'8" and 350lbs; you should have a nice buzz by the end of the recipe.
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Excellent base recipe. I made a few modifications, specifically, I used 1.5lbs of ground...