Maybe you are thinking, "why mushrooms in a chili?" Well, first, since they are so earthy tasting, they are amazing with beer. Dicing them up small, and since they then swell up, they add to the thickness of chili. No noodles or rice needed with this pot of chili. NOTE: since the cider and beer are added at the end, the alcohol does NOT cook off so this is not a dish for kids.
2Remove beef with slotted spoon into big pot. Leave drippings in saute pan; add bacon grease.
3Add onions to saute pan.
4Top onions with brown sugar (more for carmelization of onions, rather than flavor). Sautee until onions are translucent and soft.
5Pour onions into pot, drippings and all.
6Deglaze saute pan with 1/4 cup beer, scraping up brown bits from bottom. Pour that into the pot.
7Into the pot, add broth, all tomatoes (add them whole), bell peppers, tomato paste, and all spices. Give it a really good stir, cover and simmer on very low heat, for about an hour.
8While waiting, dice mushrooms into itty bitty pieces, and shuck that ear of corn.
9After an hour, give your chili a few good stirs, and use back of big spoon or spatula, to push down on the tomatoes, breaking them up. Add mushrooms and corn. Cover and let simmer on very low heat for another hour.
10After that hour, now add beans and beer. Stir, cover and let simmer on very low heat for 30 minutes.
11Turn off heat, uncover and stir, break up some more tomatoes, and then cover it back up and let it sit, covered, for at least 30 minutes before serving. Top with shredded cheese and scallions when serving.