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Well, my 1st test batch is complete. It has a very deep rich smokey beef flavor that is sandwiched inbetween the roasted cumin and heat on the back side (finish in the mouth). I began with beef shanks about 5 lbs, and dusted them with a commercial brand chilli powder, and some black pepper. These were placed in a zip lock bag for a day. Using a cast iron pot, I brased and browned on all sides these shanks and removed them from the pot leaving the rendered fond and fat. Then to the same pot I added 4 cups of ice crystal looking minced white and yellow onions combined with a tablespoon of chopped garlic, and 4 sundried tomatoes and 3 pinches of mexican oregano, and sauted until the onions were clear. 5 lbs of ground beef (3lb chuck and 2lb round) were cooked in small batches until the red was not seen and removed to drain the ground beef fat. Then back to the cast iron pot I returned the gray beef, and stirred and stirred. I added 2 teaspoon fulls of beef base and 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of cumin. I took the beef shanks and trimmed off the meat. The meat from the shank was coarsed chopped to give the chili more texture. To the shame and disgust of chili heads everywhere, I added 3 cups of crushed tomatoes that had cooked for 8 hours on a very low heat until thicken. Then I added 5 dark chili peppers that I reconstituted in beef broth and beef shank bones and ground in a coffee grinder until a paste was formed. I finished with more chilli powder and cumin that was mixed with crushed blue corn chips. Not bad I thought for an pre amateur chili contestants. Thanks to all for your tips and suggestions. I’ll keep you posted as we improve.