I've already confessed to being a chili addict. And when the addiction strikes, as it does frequently, out comes the big pot and the drama begins!
I keep telling myself that I am going to start with dry black beans and do the work-up from all basic ingredients. Usually though, I use cans of Kuners of Colorado 'Black Beans with Jalopeños.' Cheating I guess, but it works for me. About ten cans of Kuners, a few pounds of lean, grass-fed ground beef (sautéed separately with garlic and cumin and then added to the pot), and lots of spices. Those long thingies floating on top are dried guajillo peppers. They have become essential to my chili pots. Also used is a lot of ground ancho chili, plus some ground hot chilis. The guajillos and anchos are not hot, but add a sweet, dark, smoky flavor to the chili that I really like and have come to insist upon. Add a little Mexican oregano, some more cumin, a few dashes of Penzey's Chili 9000 mix, some whole-kernel sweet corn, a dash of chocolate powder, and a chopped onion and let it simmer a few hours. This is a rich, dark chili for which "flavorful" is an understatement.
Only two gallons this time, but it will hold me for a while. The next batch will use cubed venison.