4-8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 lbs beef, pork, veal, or any combination, for stew, trimmed of most fat and cut into small chunks*
1 bottle good beer, preferably a brown ale, nothing too hoppy
1-2 large cans diced tomatoes, or tomato puree**
1 large can whole tomatoes, chopped roughly
2-3 cans kidney beans, drained
white pepper (1/2 t)
coarse ground black pepper (1 t)
kosher salt (1 T)
cumin (1 T)
chili powder (3 T)
cayenne pepper (1/2 t)
cloves (1/4 t)
coriander (1/2 t)
celery seed (1/4 t)
oregano (1 t)
In a large heavy soup pot, over medium heat, saute onions in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, after a few minutes, add garlic and cook until onions begin to soften. Turn heat up a little and add meat, stirring occasionally so that it browns on all sides. I usually add part of each spice here: some kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper, a couple tablespoons of chili powder, a teaspoon each of cumin and oregano, a good dash of white pepper and cayenne and cloves and coriander and celery seed. After a few minutes, add at least half the bottle of beer and continue to cook the meat until at least partly done. Turn the heat down to medium or medium low and add tomatoes, with any liquid. Add the rest of the beer if it needs more liquid. Simmer for twenty minutes or so, then stir and add beans. Simmer for at least another twenty minutes and taste. Add more spices as needed. (The amounts in parentheses are roughly what I used last time, but it changes from batch to batch.) Simmer for another half hour or so to let the flavors really meld together.
Serve with sour cream, chopped scallions, corn chips, goldfish, etc.
*I've found that veal marked "for stewing" is incredibly tender compared to some cuts of beef and pork sold for stewing, so keep that in mind or use larger chunks of veal than beef/pork if you're combining them.
**choose puree or diced depending on if you like your chili full of tomato chunks