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Beef and Bacon Chili
Prep Time
3 hrs 19 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs 19 mins
With tender beef, bacon and super tender pinto beans, this delicious chili is perfect for guests, make ahead easy week night dinners and lunches for school or work. The Avocado Crema and Chili Lime Pepita topping take it over the top!
Course: Chili
Author: Chris Scheuer
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless beef pot roast** cut into ½” pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Ancho chili powder* the Ancho adds a wonderful flavor but use regular chili powder if you can't find or don't have the Ancho
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thick cut slices applewood smoked bacon diced in ½ inch piecesor other smokey bacon
  • 1 12- oz. bottle lager beer
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 14.5 ounce diced fire-roasted canned tomatoes puréed
  • 2 15 ounce cans pinto beans
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • For the chili lime pepitas:
  • ½ cup pepitas
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho chile powder more to taste
  • ½ teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
  1. Dice beef into ½ inch cubes and place in a medium size bowl. Combine chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Sprinkle mixture over meat. Massage with your hand for about 1 minute then set aside.
  2. In a large, heavy Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, cook bacon till golden and crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan and discard or save for another use.
  3. Increase heat to medium high. When bacon fat is shimmering hot, add beef and spread out to a single layer. Allow to cook, undisturbed for 4-5 minutes or until bottom surface of meat is beginning to turn golden. Stir and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all liquid from beef has evaporated and beef looks somewhat dry. Watch closely at this point because you want all the liquid to be absorbed but you don't want the meet to burn.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add beer, about ¼ cup at a time, stir after each addition and cook until beer has completely been absorbed. It will take 4-5 minutes in between each addition of beer. Stir frequently during this stage. By the time you've added all the beer, beef should be a deep, beautiful mahogany color.
  5. Add the onion and stir well. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes or until onion looks somewhat translucent. Add garlic cumin, oregano and basil and cook for another minute.
  6. Add tomatoes, beans, reserved bacon and broth. Bring chili to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for 45-55 minutes or until beef is very tender.
  7. While chili is simmering, prepare Chili Lime Pepitas, preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil for easy clean up. Combine pepitas, chili powder, lime juice, honey and oil on prepared pan. Stir well to combine. Roast in oven, stirring every 5 minutes, till golden and slightly puffed, about 15 minutes.
  8. Serve chili with a dollop of Avocado Crema and a scatter of Chili Lime Pepitas.
Recipe Notes

* Ancho peppers are the dried version of Poblano peppers. Their flavor is a little sweet and some say "raisin-like", with medium heat.
** I used a beef shoulder roast, but a chuck roast will also work.