John Madden's Mess

John Madden’s Mess

1 cup dried red kidney beans
water, as needed
1/4 lb bacon, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (16 ounce) can whole tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon leaf oregano, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 lb spaghetti or fettuccine, cooked according to package directions and drained
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tamales, heated
1 small onion, sliced (for garnish)
dried red peppers, for garnish

Rinse and pick over beans; place in a medium-sized bowl and cover with water; let soak overnight.
The next day, drain beans and place in a medium-size saucepan and add one quart of water.
Bring to a boil over high heat, lower heat, cover; let simmer until beans are tender, 60 to 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a Dutch oven or large skillet until crisp; remove with slotted spoon onto paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but two tablespoons of the bacon fat; saute ground beef, large onion and garlic in bacon fat over high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add cooked bacon, undrained tomatoes, chili powder, salt, oregano and cayenne; stir well and bring to a boil.
Lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 60 minutes, stirring every so often; steal some liquid from the beans and stir it in if mixture gets too thick.
Now would be a good time to cook that spaghetti.
Drain beans, add to meat/tomato mixture, and heat just to serving temperature.
To serve, place hot drained spaghetti on a large platter and spoon all the chili on top.
Cut tamales into pieces and arrange over chili.
Finally, scatter raw onion and dried red peppers over top, and serve.