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Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans

Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans

I made this beef chili with bacon and black beans when my husband worked from home recently. It’s an America’s Test Kitchen recipe so I made it as written because I trust their recipes. This chili only needed a couple of hours of simmering before serving but still had a ton of flavor. I loved that this chili was thick, hearty, and flavorful with a nice bit of spiciness. My husband and I both really enjoyed our lunch together and we thought this chili was excellent. I topped mine with sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro, and green onions and it disappeared quickly. My kids finished every bite of the last two bowls when they got home from school and both said it was tasty.

Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans

How to Make Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans

Cook the bacon bits in a  large Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and leave the bacon in the Dutch oven. Add the onion, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, crushed pepper flakes, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high heat and add half the ground beef. Cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until no longer pink and starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining ground beef along with the minced garlic and cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until no longer pink and starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato puree, black beans, and season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Remove the cover and continue to simmer for 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, if needed.

Side Note: If the chili begins to stick on the bottom of the pot during the second hour of cooking, stir in 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer. 

Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans

Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans

Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Pam / Original by America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients

Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans

  • 4 slices of bacon, cut into small bits
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb 85% lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato puree
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Toppings:

  • Lime wedges
  • Sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Green onions, sliced

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon bits in a  large Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and leave the bacon in the Dutch oven.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, crushed pepper flakes, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high heat and add half the ground beef. Cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until no longer pink and starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ground beef along with the minced garlic and cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until no longer pink and starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes.  
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato puree, black beans, and season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
  • Remove the cover and continue to simmer for 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, if needed.
  • Side Note: If the chili begins to stick on the bottom of the pot during the second hour of cooking, stir in 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer. 
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6 Comments

  1. Looks like a delicious version of this famous dish Pam and I like that you began with bacon.

  2. I’m a bit confused…. you write kidney beans in your instructions, but list black beans in the actual recipe. Which is it?

    1. Norma,

      Black beans! I have corrected the recipe.

      -Pam

  3. Our kind of dish, delicious and spicy. Keep well Diane