This is MY Gold Standard chili recipe as well..I found it in Sunset at least 20 years ago, called “Not- Just- Any -Chili –Chili”. You're wrong, Jude...it's not good, it's GREAT! I usually use part hot sausage (like Jimmy Dean) instead of all beef. I also find the 3 T. bitters a bit too much...1/2 that amount works for me. I've never found a 15 oz. can of tomato puree, so I add an entire 28 oz. can instead and a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. Who needs left over puree? I also like a variety of beans...kidney, pinto, black, red...whatever. (Forgive us our sins, Texans.) Loving hot & spicy, I add chipotle in adobo and chopped jalapeno as well. My trick for eliminating the excess fat is to push the meat aside after browning and scoot a couple scrunched up paper towels around the pan bottom with a wooden spoon. Discard the towels and the grease goes bye bye. And, don't forget the hot pepper jelly with the cornbread! This is fine comfort food fare, and not just any ol' chili, by golly!
I didn't add the kidney beans so decreased the amount of tomatoes added. (I just used one large fresh tomato.) Also took the other reviewer's suggestion and cut back on the bitters. I'm not sure I would make this again as there are some other chilis I like better, but it was a good warming meal for a cold day.