Chili con Carne
  1. Rinse beans and pick over. Mix together and cover by several inches with cold water in a large bowl or pot; soak at least four hours or overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse beans, then place in a large pot. Cover by three or four inches with cold water. Add black pepper, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, for 1-1/2 - 2 hours or until tender. ONLY when beans are tender, add first quantity of salt.
  3. Drain beans, reserving at least 1 quart of the cooking liquid. Set aside.
  4. In a large heavy skillet, brown hamburger. Drain, reserving beef and the beef fat. Clean out pan and return fat to pan. Heat over medium until fat is clarified.
  5. Add onions to hot beef fat and saute over medium heat until onions are deeply browned, about ten minutes. Add garlic and spices (chili powder, paprika, cumino, salt and pepper) and saute until garlic softens and spices have "bloomed." Add canned tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  6. In a large pot, mix beans, beef, and onion/spice mix. Bring to a boil, stirring often. If mixture is too stiff (dry), add some of the reserved bean liquid.
  7. Place pot in a 300° oven. Cook, stirring every hour or so, for 3-5 hours, or until onions have dissolved and meat is very tender.