This is based on a recipe that my grandmother found in a magazine a very long time ago, when my mother was a kid. That was the chili recipe I grew up with, but when I went out on my own during college and began cooking for myself a lot, I decided that it needed something more, so I modified it a little bit. Beans and celery have always been the optional ingredients that I have never put in it myself. I strongly recommend not using the beans, it is a really great-tasting chili without it and the beans would alter the taste too drastically. But, if you’re the kind of person who absolutely has to have beans, then, by all means, throw some in there.
Anyway, I really love this chili and everybody who I cook it for, including my wife, just goes wild over it. It’s a little weird, I’ll admit, as sweet as it is, especially for hard-core chili-lovers who like nuclear amounts of spice. But I’m sure you’ll love it!
Brown the ground beef. Finely cut and/or dice the vegetables. In a separate pan, sauté the vegetables in the vegetable oil. In a large sauce pot or stock pot, combine the vegetables, beef, ketchup, Chili-O, tomatoes, beer, and 7Up. Heat to a boil.
Once the chili is at a boil, turn the burner down to low, or simmering heat. Add the spices and add the granulated sugar until the chili gets to a taste you like. Personally, I add about 2 spoonfuls or so.
Depending on how much patience you have, cover and simmer the chili anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Of course, the longer you simmer it the more the flavors mix together, but usually more than an hour is not necessary. I like to eat the chili with Club Crackers, but really any crackers would do (my wife loves to use regular saltines). But it’s also good just spooning it out by itself. If you mix it with Velveeta Cheese, it makes the absolute best chili cheese dip you’ve ever tried! It’s to die for!
* Apparently 1 quart cans of diced tomatoes are becoming hard to find, 28 ounce cans are more popular, which is 4 oz. short of the 32 needed to make a quart. The difference is not a big deal.