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Smoky Beef, Bacon & Three-Bean Chili

I am firmly of the belief that you can never - and I mean never - have too many chili recipes in your collection. Whether made with beef, chicken, turkey, or veggies, there is just something magical about a big bowl of chili. I am also unabashedly Team Bean when it comes to chili - the more beans the better, in my humble opinion - so this particular recipe utilizes not one but three types of beans, both for flavor and for color. But perhaps most importantly, I am adamant in my belief that one should venture out from the generic "chili powder" you find in most chili recipes because, well, life is too short for boring chili. As such, this recipe calls for my Coffee-Chili Spice Rub, a spice blend I originally developed not for chili but rather as a rub for grilled meat. But all the things that make it great on a grilled ribeye are exactly the things that make it great in this chili - the smokiness of the paprika, the complexity of the dark roast coffee, the earthiness of the cumin, and the molasses-tinged sweetness of the brown sugar. It all comes together to create a smoky, meaty, bean-studded bowl of perfection. One note for those in the "chili must set your mouth on fire" crowd - this chili is flavorful but is not spicy, so if you are looking for spice, please feel free to add some cayenne to the pot.


Ok, let's get cooking, shall we??





Smoky Beef, Bacon & Three-Bean Chili


Serves 6-8


Ingredients

  • 4 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 1 large yellow onion, minced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Coffee-Chile Spice Rub

  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 1 (14.5-oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

  • 1 (14.5-oz) can tomato puree

  • 1 (12-ounce) can medium-bodied beer

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire

  • 1 (14.5-oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (14.5-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (14.5-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • Toppings of choice for serving. I recommend Greek yogurt (or sour cream), shredded cheddar cheese, minced red onion, and diced avocado


Directions

  1. Place bacon in a large pot set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring regularly, until the bacon has just started to brown. Add the minced onion, lower heat slightly, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Stir in garlic and cook until nice and fragrant, about 1 minute.

  2. Increase the heat to medium-high again. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring gently to break up the meat, until it is no longer pink. Stir in the Coffee-Chile Spice Rub and the cayenne pepper (if using) and stir to combine. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato puree, beer, and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the beans and stir to combine. Partially cover the pot, and simmer to allow flavors to meld, about 30 minutes.

  3. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.


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