My dad gave me a Penzey's spice catalog years ago and this recipe was in it for a good basic chili. It is a great base to make as your own. There is so much you can do with this recipe. It does require some patience as it does take 3 hours to simmer. So worth the wait! I call it Nana's Chili because my 3 year old grandson is always asking for Nana's chili and crackers.
Brown ground beef. Drain fat and set aside. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in heavy pot over medium high heat, adding onions when hot. Saute for 4-5 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes more. Add black pepper, ground cumin, ground chipotle pepper, crushed red peppers and chili powder, while continually stirring until spices begin to stick to bottom of pot and brown (30-45 seconds). Quickly add 3 cups of hot water. Add tomato puree, diced tomatoes and the juice they were packed in. Add kidney beans and salt. Add the ground beef. Stir when chili begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Ideally the chili should be simmered 3 hours to let all the flavors blend together. Stir about every 15 minutes. If you don't have 3 hours, use less chipotle and crushed red peppers.