Chili with Bacon

I have made chili before, and even shared it on here. And again here. After growing up not having it very often (someone in the family didn’t care for beans-ahemDadahem), I enjoy eating it. On its own it is good, but it is even better with cheese and other toppings. Mmmm. Kind of like a baked potato. I made this recipe on a warm day, but thankfully we have air conditioning, so I can ignore the weather a bit and make the food I am in the mood for. Or at least the food I bought groceries for. (It seems silly to complain about, but isn’t it a little annoying when you expect rainy/cool weather and plan a comfort food meal only to have really sunny, warm weather instead?)

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When I told K I wanted to try this new chili recipe, he seemed skeptical. I even told him there would be bacon, but that didn’t sway him. It wasn’t until he had it that he said how good it was. It’s pretty easy, even though it has to cook for a while. You could prep the chopped vegetables ahead of time, and simply do the rest when you are ready to be home.

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Seriously, K? Bacon. Flavoring the chili and on top. Whatever. 😉 I also find it helpful to measure out the seasoning ahead of time so that I can just dump it in….it also looks pretty.

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We had some fresh tomatoes that needed to get eaten, and they were great to top the chili with, as well.

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Directions for Chili with Bacon

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1-1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red/orange/yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 12 ounces amber beer
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

In a large pot, cook the bacon until crispy, then set aside (when cool, crumble into pieces). Pour out half of the bacon fat and brown the ground beef in it (you might need to do batches), making sure to break up the ground beef as it browns.

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Set the browned beef aside, then add the remaining bacon fat and cook the onion and bell peppers until soft, about 5-7 minutes.

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Add the garlic with some salt and pepper, then cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and tomato paste.

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Cook until the tomato paste is brick red in color (about 5-7 minutes). You can add a splash of the beef broth if the mixture sticks. Then, add the beer and simmer until it is almost fully reduced (about 5 minutes).

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Add the beef back in, along with the cocoa powder, tomatoes, beef broth, and beans.

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Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens a bit (about 1.5 hours).

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Add hot sauce if desired, and taste for more salt/pepper. Serve with the bacon crumbled on top (and with cheese, green onions, avocados…whatever you like).

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Directions for Chili with Bacon (without pictures)

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1-1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red/orange/yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 12 ounces amber beer
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

In a large pot, cook the bacon until crispy, then set aside (when cool, crumble into pieces). Pour out half of the bacon fat and brown the ground beef in it (you might need to do batches). Set the browned beef aside, then add the remaining bacon fat and cook the onion and bell peppers until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic with some salt and pepper, then cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste is brick red in color (about 5-7 minutes). You can add a splash of the beef broth if the mixture sticks. Then, add the beer and simmer until it is almost fully reduced (about 5 minutes).

Add the beef back in, along with the cocoa powder, tomatoes, beef broth, and beans. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens a bit (about 1.5 hours). Add hot sauce if desired, and taste for more salt/pepper. Serve with the bacon crumbled on top (and with cheese, green onions, avocados…whatever you like).

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