Chili is one of those foods that I never seem to get tired of. Maybe this is because there are so many different recipes and ways to make it and I usually try a new recipe each time I make it. Or, perhaps, it’s because chili is just so darn tasty and healthier than many foods out there today. Anyway, today I felt like chili. Spicy! But not too spicy. You know, the kind where you feel some heat in the back of your mouth, without burning. And bacon-y! I love bacon. I don’t eat very often, but sometimes I just crave it so much I can put it into almost anything.
I recently picked up a few ounces of dark chili at the local Latin American grocery store. Have you ever tried it? This dark version of chili has its spices roasted longer to give a slightly earthier and smoky flavor, making it better suited for hearty dishes such as soups, stews, and naturally, chili. It also gives chili a darker color and makes it unique in a way.
This chili took a bit longer than usual to cook – about three hours, due to a large amount of beef stock in this recipe. Typically, the chilies I made before took about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to cook. But it was totally worth it. Beefy from chuck and beef stock, hearty, earthy, bacon-y and spicy – it turned out super delicious and flavorful.
- 2 lbs ground beef chuck, ground
- 2 cups bacon, fried and chopped into ½ - 1 inch pieces
- 1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained
- 1 14-ounce can pinto beans, drained
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 large jalapeno pepper
- 1 quart beef stock
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1½ tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 1½ Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- ½ Tbsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp dark chili powder
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Whisk all spices in a medium bowl to combine. Set aside
- Form 6-8 patties from the ground beef. Preheat a large skillet, and sear patties over high heat for about 3 minutes on each side until richly browned. Drain the fat from the patties and set them aside to cool down, then crumble into ¾ to 1 inch pieces using a fork
- In the same skillet, over medium to medium-high heat fry bacon strips. Let cool down and chop into ½ - 1 inch pieces. Set aside
- In the same skillet, with a little bit left-over fat from bacon, saute chopped onions and garlic over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes until onions are starting to get soft
- Place beef, bacon, onions and pressed garlic into a large pot or Dutch oven. Add half the spices. Stir in half the beef stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and one whole jalapeno pepper, uncut and intact. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
- Gently remove jalapeno pepper without breaking and discard. Add the remaining ingredients, salt and vinegar, and continue simmering for additional 2 hours
- Garnish with greens and shredded cheddar cheese