Sweet Bacon Chili


I just concocted this today since I'd been looking for a sweet chili recipe and couldn't find one that sounded good or incorporated bacon. The wife declared this "ridiculously good".


2 lb. ground beef (chuck is best, something around 75-85% lean)
1/2 lb. thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4" strips
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 - 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 - 28 oz. can kidney beans (dark or light, doesn't really matter), undrained
1/2 of a 7 oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (chopped fine)
2 tablespoons dark chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
6-8 leftover crunchy taco shells or 1 cup of crushed tortilla chips (this is a great way to use them up after they go stale!)

Heat a large dutch oven (5-7 quarts) over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until just starting to crisp. Add ground beef and cook until mostly browned. Add onion & garlic, cook until onions are slightly translucent. Add the spices and stir well. Add tomatoes and beans, then brown sugar. Turn heat down to low and simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. There should be quite a bit of liquid (from the tomatoes and beans); if not, add a bit of chicken or beef stock (or beer). Crush/crumble the taco shells and mix them in, cook (again, covered) for about 30 minutes. Serve with toppings of your choice (shredded cheddar, sour cream and sliced green onion are good).

Bill Elwell

We make a similar recipe, minus about 5 of your ingredients. I'm not a fan of tomato chunks so we use the juice we canned over the summer. We have over 30 Qts on the shelves.