Classic Beef Chili…with Bacon!

After so many serious blog posts, I decided to take a break and blog about dinner again. We had an awesome chili tonight, and I’m thinking some of you might enjoy it. Except the vegetarians. Sorry, this isn’t a dinner post for you.

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Classic Beef Chili with Bacon

modified from The Best Slow and Easy Recipes from Cook’s Illustrated

8 ounces (about 8 slices) bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 medium onions, minced

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1/4 c chili powder

1 T ground cumin

2 t ground coriander

1 t red pepper flakes

1 t dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1/2 t cayenne pepper


1-2 pounds beef stew meat (I used sirloin tip roast that was on sale, cut into small pieces)

2 15-ounce cans dark red kidney beans

2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes

Fry bacon in bottom of dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and leave the bacon in the pot. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir in the beef until no longer pink, about 3 minutes per pound.

Stir in the beans, diced tomatoes and juice, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Uncover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened, about 45 minutes longer. (If at any time the chili begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, stir in 1/2 cup water.) Season with salt to taste before serving.

My daughter ate this with cheddar cheese on it. My son loved the kidney beans and the meat from it (he called it “chicken,” but we understood what he meant). My husband and I quite liked it, too.

And right after we were finished eating, we got to watch a fella fail a roadside sobriety test right outside our kitchen window! I was impressed that he was driving an Audi TT in our neighborhood! We even got to see him cuffed and put into the police car. Exciting stuff, and very educational for my 5.5-year-old.

4 Replies to “Classic Beef Chili…with Bacon!”

  1. This looks delicious! I’m such a chili lover. There’s this restaurant in Santa Monica, CA, Jinky’s, where I go just because of their wide selections of chili. It’s heavenly!



    1. Cook’s Illustrated also has a wonderful white turkey chili that calls for three different types of peppers (if I’m remembering this correctly and not mixing up recipes in my head). I should make that again sometime. If I do, I’ll post about it!


  2. Wow, that looks really yummy. I know my boys would love it! I can’t go wrong with beef & bacon when it comes to those two!


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