Bacon, Ground Beef, and Bean Chili
half pound thick sliced bacon or lean bacon
approximately one pound of ground beef
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
*any other suitable vegetable of choice
Basil (season to preference)
Ground Cumin Seed (season to preference)
Fresh Minced Garlic or Garlic Powder (season to preference)
3 12oz cans of tomato sauce or 5-7 cups of V8 or Tomato Juice
2-3 cans of pinto beans or kidney beans
This savory dish is a perfect winter pick-me-up. Though the contents aren't exactly for the health conscious. If you are on a low cholesteral or low fat diet, you may want to stay clear of this recipe. If not, whatcha waitin' for! Dig in!
First step, fry up about a half pound of bacon that has been cut up into bite size pieces. I prefer to use a thick slice smoked bacon, but lean turkey bacon does just as well.
Fry to preference.
Put the bacon to the side
Next step fry up about 1 pound of fresh or thawed ground beef with about 3/4 cup of diced green bell pepper, 3/4 cup of diced onion, and 3/4 cup of red bell pepper (toss in any other vegetable of choice at this time as well) in an iron skillet or a dutch oven. (If you have a dutch oven, it would be best to fry in this as you'll be using this to slow cook the chili, if you use a crock pot an iron skillet will suffice) As you fry the beef throw in a little bit of chili spice, basil, and fresh minced garlic or garlic powder with about pinch of ground cumin seed.
Once the beef is fully cooked, throw in the bacon and 3 cans of tomato sauce. If you like your chili a little thick leave it as is. However if you like your chili thin, add a can full of water or substitute the tomato sauce with V8 or tomato juice.
Add in 2-3 cans of beans of your choice. In this pot I used 1 can of pinto bean and 1 can of light red kidney beans. Next stir in a can of diced tomatoes or dice fresh tomato's. Stir the contents.
Next cover the top with a good coating of chili powder. Stir till the powder is evenly distributed. Keep the heat medium high till the chili comes to a boil. Once the chili starts bubbling lower the heat to medium low to low heat and cook for an hour. Stir periodically to prevent settling. Covering the pot (or dutch oven if you choose to use) is optional. If you wish to prevent the chili from cooking down, it's best to cover. However if you want it to be a little bit thicker, cook it uncovered.
The bacon adds a bit of a smokey flavor to the chili and compliments the tomato sauce by kind of reducing the effects of the acidity of the tomato's just a little bit. Either way it's a great simple alternate recipe for an other wise great meal.
This should serve 6-8 bowls.
For the Adventerous! If you want to add a bit of tang to the stew, Try adding a can of your favorite brew (the darker the better) for a unique taste! Warning though, it may thin out the Chili a bit. so you may need to consider adding to taste.