You guys, it’s officially starting to feel like fall in RVA and I am! And when it comes to cooking this time of year I get so excited because it’s soup season and I am a huge lover of chilis and soups. Why? Well, A. They’re one of the simplest meals to put together. B. They feed a small army. C. There is absolutely nothing like a delicious soup to warm you up and share with friends and family for all of those fun fall gatherings when the air is crisp and chilly.
Chili is specifically a favorite in my family during the fall months. We love it for tailgating and having family over to watch the game, and it also makes an appearance at our neighborhood’s annual fall festival and chili cook-off. When I think of the ultimate fall food–chili is it.
I have a few different recipes that I rotate, but this one that I’m sharing with you is a new one to my lineup and is the absolute BEST! It’s my brother’s recipe that he tweaked and perfected from one that he found online. *Side note: he is an amazing cook–I tell him to open a restaurant at least once a month because his food is out of this world good. Anyway, his chili has the perfect amount of kick, without being spicy–oh, and also, there’s bacon. And if that’s not enough to make you try it right there, I don’t know what to tell you.
Here’s his recipe. Shout out to Ross Johnson! It makes enough for a large crowd, but I cut it in half when I’m making for a weeknight dinner.
Prep Time: 15 Mins.
Cook Time: 1 hr. 45 mins.
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 16

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  • 1 pound (raw) bacon – cut into small pieces
  • 1 large onion – diced
  • 1 red bell pepper – seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper – seeded and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic – minced
  • 4.5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1.5 tablespoons paprika
  • .5 to 1.5 tablespoons chipotle powder (depends on the spice level you want)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • .5 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 3 pounds ground beef (we also like to use 1 pound beef and 2 pounds ground turkey to cut down on the fat)
  • 1 can or bottle beer (I used a Corona because that’s what I had on hand. Use what you like)
  • 1 – 14 ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 – 14 ounce can red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 – 24 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 24 ounce can diced tomatoes

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  1. Cook diced bacon over medium heat in a large non-stick dutch oven or pot. When bacon is almost done, add in diced onion and bell peppers and cook until softened.
  2. Add in minced garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, chipotle powder, dried oregano, salt, and cayenne powder. Cook a minute or two until aromatic.
  3. Add in ground beef to bacon-onion mixture. Cook until ground beef is no longer pink.
  4. Stir in can of beer, rinsed and drained beans, crushed tomatoes with juice, and diced tomatoes with juice.
  5. Cover and simmer on low for 1.5 hours. Add in a little water, if necessary. The first hour stir the pot every 10-15 minutes, and the last 30 minutes stir the pot every 5-10 minutes. You may need to stir more often depending on your pot and how hot your burner gets.
  6. Serve with cheese and sour cream or whatever chili toppings you like.