Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chili October Nights

Kick-Ass Chili for Carnivores

Chili . . . a staple of tailgate parties, potlucks, game day gatherings around the t.v., and community cook-offs. This is a perfect one-pot meal. It's filling, easy, fast, and cheap- full of fiber, protein, and plenty of spice. I threw together this recipe for all the meat lovers out there! It's pretty spicy, so if you prefer things a bit milder back off on the red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper.

- 1 lb. ground beef
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp. chipotle chili powder
- 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 15 oz. can pinto beans
- 1 15 oz. can black beans
- 1 15 oz. can kidney beans
- grated pepper jack cheese
- 1 small bag of thick cut corn chips such as Fritos

Place chopped bacon in a large sauce pot or Dutch oven and heat over medium. Cook bacon until it just begins to brown- don't let it get crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pot and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Put chopped onion into pot with bacon fat and cook over medium heat until onion begins to turn translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add ground beef and garlic. Cook over medium heat until meat begins to brown, about 3 minutes, breaking meat apart with wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Add cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cardamom, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine and cook for about 1 minute. Add beans with the liquid and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer chili for 20 minutes to thicken. Add bacon to chili and stir to incorporate all ingredients. Remove from heat. Season to taste with extra salt and pepper. Sprinkle a few chips into each bowl for serving then spoon chili over the chips. Sprinkle with pepper jack cheese and serve.

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