Recipe Notes Suggested toppings: Sour cream, shredded sharp Vermont cheddar cheese, chopped scallions, diced avocado, crumbled bacon.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 lbs. yellow onions, chopped

2 large sweet bell peppers, seeded and diced (red, orange or yellow)

1 large, fresh poblano pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 to 3 jalapeño peppers (or similar hot peppers) seeded and finely diced*

20 cloves garlic, minced

4 pounds ground beef

1 pound bulk Italian sausage (sweet, hot or a combination)

½ cup chili powder

¼ cup ancho chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon celery salt

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cans (28 ounces each) of whole, peeled tomatoes, undrained

1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste

5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 ounce of milk or dark chocolate

2 teaspoons liquid smoke

Directions

Heat the oil in an 8-quart pot. Add the onions, sweet bell and poblano peppers. At this point, you could also add some of the jalapeño peppers.* Cook over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables have become softened. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the beef and sausage to the pot, breaking up any large chunks of meat as it cooks. Stir in the chili and ancho chili powders.

When the meat is mostly browned, add the cumin, oregano, celery salt, salt, and pepper, stirring to blend well. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chocolate and liquid smoke. Stir to combine, and set heat to low.

Simmer for 2 to 3 hours, occasionally stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.

Serve hot with the toppings of your choice.

*Consider incorporating the hot peppers gradually. You can always add more, but you can’t take them out! Murph makes this chili at least a day or two before serving to allow the flavors and heat to develop. Tasting it multiple times throughout, he makes adjustments to the seasoning, adding more heat, or salt, etc., to suit the preferences of his chili-adoring fans

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