Preparation / Directions:
Brown beef and onion in 3 tablespoons of the shortening. Remove from heat. In a deep saucepan over low heat, melt remaining lard or shortening. Whisk in flour, stirring until well blended. Gradually add chili and bouillon in small, alternating amounts, creating a smooth, thick sauce.
Add remaining seasonings, adjusting to taste. Simmer over low heat 10 minutes. Add browned beef and onions. Cover. Simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water if mixture seems too thick. After 45 minutes, de-grease the top of the chili if necessary. Add potatoes if desired. Simmer 10 minutes more. Meat should be very tender. If not, simmer another 10 to 15 minutes.
Note: Many chefs believe chili improves if cooked one day ahead, refrigerated overnight, then reheated.
NOTE: While it is not necessary to use the pods themselves when brewing chili, it is essential that the chile powder be PURE POWDERED CHILE, not the diluted chili powder you find on the spice rack in supermarkets. If you can't find a specialty store that sells powdered chile, you can mail order good stuff from: Josie's Best Mexican Foods, P.O. Box 5525, Santa Fe, NM, 87501, (505) 983-65