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MAIN DISH RECIPE: Lesley's Chili Con Carne


5-strips bacon, diced in 1/2" pieces
1-cup onion, diced
1/2-large red pepper, diced (1/2-3/4-cup)
2-celery stalks, chopped (not fine)
5-cloves garlic, minced
6 or 7-large mushrooms, chopped
2-jalapenos, sliced
10-sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
2-tbsp chili powder
2-tbsp arbol chili powder
1-tbsp ground cumin
2-tsp ground coriander
1-tsp red pepper flakes
1-tsp dried oregano
1/2-tsp cayenne
1-lb lean ground beef
2-19oz cans beans of choice (chili style, small Mexican, pinto, red kidney, black, or canned baked beans)
1-28oz can chili style stewed tomatoes
1-28oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
1/3-cup fresh cilantro, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated cheddar cheese for topping of each bowl


Heat Dutch oven over medium heat and cook bacon for 5 minutes
Add onions, pepper, celery, garlic, mushrooms, jalapenos, sun-dried tomatoes, and all seasonings
Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes
Remove to bowl
Add ground meat to pot and cook, breaking up pieces, until all pink is gone
Return the vegetables to pot, adding the beans, tomatoes and 1/2-tsp salt
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, and stirring occasionally, for one hour
Remove lid and continue to simmer one hour longer or until slightly thickened
Adjust seasoning
Add the minced cilantro just before serving, mixing in
Serve with grated or diced cheddar sprinkled on top of each bowl

Alternately, this can be done in the slow cooker 2 hours on high, and then turn to low for 3 hours
Return to stove top to reduce, about 1/2 hour.

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