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Billerica Haystacks

1 onion -- chopped
1 bell pepper -- chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic -- minced
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 pound ground pork
3 4 tbsp. chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 can tomatoes -- chopped, with juice (28 oz.)
1 cup canned beef broth
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 ounce grated semi-sweet chocolate -- pinch of cinnamon
1 bag Fritos
chopped mild onion
chopped green -- red or bell pepper
chopped ripe tomato
chopped cabbage or lettuce
chopped canned jalapenos
scallions
grated sharp cheddar -- cheese
sliced black or green -- olives
sour cream


In a kettle cook the onion and bell pepper until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.

In a large skillet brown the meat over high heat and transfer when done to the kettle.

Add chili powder and cumin and cook the mixture, stirring, for about a minute.

Add tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, cayenne, Tabasco, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer slowly for 2 hours.

Or, put chili into slow cooker for several hours. Stir in the chocolate and cinnamon and adjust seasonings.

Place bowls of each of the above accompaniments on the table so diners can prepare their own Haystacks.

A layer of Fritos is placed on the plate or bowl first; then some chili, and whichever accompaniments appeal to the diner. May be topped with sour cream.




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