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JIM'S CHILI MAC

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 1/4 pounds ground chuck
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 medium to large onions, chopped
1 or 2 large cloves garlic crushed (to taste)
1 1/2 tablespoon Spice Island chili powder (to taste)
3 tablespoons bacon grease or salad oil
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 ounces pasta of your choice (I prefer regular spaghetti)
Enough salad oil for pasta water
Shredded cheese for topping, either parmesan or sharp cheddar

Directions:

In a large iron skillet, heat bacon grease or salad oil. Add garlic and stir until it starts to turn brown. Add chopped onion and stir until translucent. Add crumbled ground chuck, stirring and mashing to keep from forming large chunks. Brown well, stirring constantly, then turn off heat. Tilt skillet and push meat to the high end so excess grease will run to bottom end. Using a tablespoon, remove all but a couple of tablespoons of the grease. Then turn heat back on and add entire contents of tomato can, stirring until well blended with meat. Add salt and chili powder, stirring. Taste to see if more chili powder is desired; this is a matter of personal taste. Shirl prefers it a bit hotter than do I, so I usually defer to the redhead and add more. Turn fire down. Cover and simmer for an hour.
When nearly ready to eat, boil enough water in a large pot to which you should add a good dollop of salad oil to keep pasta from sticking together. You can use macaroni or any other variety of pasta you like. Follow package directions for cooking to your preferred degree of doneness. We like our spaghetti slightly al dente. Drain and rinse excess starch from pasta before serving.
Serve up a good pile of pasta on each plate. Then cover it with chili. I like my chili mac plain, but Shirl prefers hers smothered with either variety of cheese. Any which way, it's a good winter comfort food.

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