Chili is one of my favorite things to eat when the weather turns cold. It’s warm and filling and makes a great dinner when paired with a nice ale and a great companion. There are a million different recipes for chili out there, but my husband hit on a winning combination when he came up with this one – Bacon & Whiskey Chili. It cooks up in about 30 minutes, so it makes a great weeknight meal (and if you’re lucky, you’ll have a little bit leftover for lunch the next day). And what’s better than bacon and whiskey?
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 cans ‘chili beans’ (or 1 can of kidney beans and 1 can of pinto beans)
- 1 sweet pepper, finely diced (optional)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 healthy shot of whiskey (Plus one for the cooks! Toast your awesome cooking skills!)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons fried garlic (you could also use fresh, but the fried is really nice here)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
1. Sauté the bacon and onion together until the onion is just translucent. If using the sweet pepper, add it now.
2. Add the beef, and cook until the meat is browned.
3. Add the tomatoes, beans and chicken stock, and bring to a simmer.
4. Add all of the spices, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5. Add the brown sugar and whiskey, and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
If you like noodles with your chili (sacrilegious to some, essential to others), a small noodle like elbow macaroni or ditalini is best. Or you could serve Mason Jar Biscuits or cornbread with it. To drink, you can’t go wrong with beer – nut brown ale or bock are both tasty, but of course – if you like something lighter or darker, go with your taste.