Homemade chili full of fresh peppers ground meat, spices, and of course bacon. Simmers for hours bringing out all the flavors. Use the bacon grease to make a side of cast iron skillet cornbread for a pure comfort meal.
The weather has definitely taken a turn in Western Washington, dipping into almost the '30s at night. One of my favorite things, when we switch from the heat of summer to cooler, rainy days, is making all the soups, stews, and chilis that we can. This recipe is a favorite in our house. It's quick to put together, simmers for a few hours, and is the pure comfort food we need on those colder days.
Remove some of the bacon fat once its cooked and put together a batch of Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread. The two were made to go together.
I have teamed up with five other bloggers to bring you all our favorite ways to make chili. Scroll to see what we are cooking up and save for that rainy, cozy day.
Tips an Notes
1. Start with bacon!
I start with bacon for two very important reasons. One, everything is better with bacon, and two you can use the grease in your cast iron skillet to give your cornbread the most amazing crispy crust!
2. Rotel Tomatoes
Rotel diced tomatoes are the goto in our family. Any other type of diced tomatoes I try, we end up with little bowls full of tomatoes from my picky eaters. My family just seems to like Rotel the best.
3. Smoked Paprika
Regular paprika is a great substitute but uses smoked paprika to add just a hit of something extra.
4. A Long Simmer
A long simmer. I like to simmer it no less than an hour but if you can, try to make it two. It just enhances the flavors and let's not forget how amazing a house smells when soup as been simmering all evening.
How to Make
- First, dice and cook the bacon until crispy.
2. Next, drain the grease (set aside if your making cornbread) leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and onions and cook until soft and translucent.
3. Add in ground meat and green peppers and cook until the meat is browned and the peppers are soft. Season this mixture with some salt as it cooks.
4. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and all the spices. Stir to combine and add more water to your desired consistency.
Drain and rinse your beans and add to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours.
Finally, finish it off with all your favorite toppings such as shredded cheese, green onions and sour cream. This make enough to feed my family of 4 and have enough for lunch the next day. A great way to use up left overs is cook up some potatoes the and top with the leftover chili.
Make a side of corn bread as well. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet no worries you can make the same recipe in a greased 8x8 cake pan.
Favorite Winter Comfort Dishes
- 10-12 Strips of Thick Cut Bacon
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Large Yellow Onion Diced
- 2 Green Bell Peppers
- 1.5 lbs Ground Meat
- 3 Cloves Garlic minced
- 2 10oz Cans of Rotel Tomatoes
- 1 15oz Can of Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Pepper to taste
- ½ Cup Water. More or less depending on your desired consistency
- 2 15oz Cans of Black Beans
- Shredded Cheese
- Diced Green Onion
- Sour Cream
- Dice and cook bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat until crispy
- Remove from pot and drain grease leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and onions and cook until soft and translucent.
- Add in ground meat and green peppers and cook until meat is browned and peppers are soft.
- Drain all excess liquid and add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and all the spices and mix until well combined.
- Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the pot. If you like your chili more soupy you can add more water at this time. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer on low for 1-2 hours. Make sure to check it every 20 min or so and give it a stir to make sure its not burning on the bottom. About 5 min before serving add half the bacon back in and save the remaining for a topping.
- Serve warm with your favorite toppings and a side of corn bread.