Bacon and Bean Chili

The weather has finally started to turn here in Boulder, and it’s finally acceptable to think about cold weather dishes, like chili!  Chili is one of my favorite things ever because it reminds me so much of home.  We definitely ate our fair share of chili in the Steube house.  So, here’s a new recipe for you all to try out.  I’m not usually one to cook with bacon, but school is changing my mind about a lot of ingredients.  I’m still not completely sold on butter though…

 

Bacon and Bean Chili

Serves four, or two with leftovers!

Ingredients:

3 strips of bacon, diced

1/2 a large onion, diced

two carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder, you choice of what kind you like

1.5 teaspoons of coriander

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup of your favorite red wine

one 14 oz can of kidney beans

one 14 oz can of black beans

1/2 a 14 oz can of corn kernels

one 28 oz can of fire roasted tomotoes

salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

1. Preheat pot.  I used my Le Creuset, but you could use whatever pot you want.  Add bacon and render until crisp and all that good bacon fat has been released into the bottom of the pot.

2.  Add onion and saute in bacon fat.  Next, add carrot, celery, green pepper and garlic.  Sweat.  Your vegetables should be cooked, but not brown.  If the vegetables start to soak up the bacon fat, you can always add more oil.

3.  Add cumin, chili powder, and coriander.  Stir.  Add tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste is brown and sticking to the bottom of the pot.  You want it to look like thin brownish red crust coating the bottom of the pot.

4.  Add the red wine.  You’re deglazing the pot here, picking up all those lovely bits of tomato and bacon.  Reduce by half.

5.  Add beans, fire roasted tomatoes, corn, salt and pepper.  Depending on how thin of thick you like your chili, you can add water here to make it thinner.  I rinsed out my can of fire roasted tomatoes with about half a cup of water and added it to the pot.

6.  Cover and simmer for one hour.

 

You’ll have to forgive me for my lack of pictures, but we inhaled this chili pretty quickly.  The flavors here blend together to make delicious and hearty dish that will warm you right up.  The smoke from the bacon and the fire roasted tomatoes give the chili an earthy and comforting taste and the browned tomato paste adds a deep, savory flavor.  I gobbled this right up and it may have been one of the better chilis I have made.  The bacon is where it’s at!  A little goes a long way.

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