Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans
From Cook's Illustrated
Good choices for condiments include diced fresh tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced scallions, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. If you are a fan of spicy food, consider using a little more of the red pepper flakes or cayenne--or both. The flavor of the chili improves with age; if possible, make it a day or up to five days in advance and reheat before serving. Leftovers can be frozen for up to a month.
MAKES ABOUT 3 QUARTS, SERVING 8 TO 10
8 ounces bacon (about 8 strips), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
2 (16-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
2 limes cut into wedges
1. Fry bacon in a large heavy-bottomed non reactive Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring frequently, until well browned, about 8 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat, leaving bacon in pot. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano and cayenne; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add half of beef; cook, breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining beef and cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato puree and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue simmering for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender and chili is dark, rich and slightly thickened. (If chili begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, stir in 1.2 cup water and continue simmering.) Adjust seasons. Serve with lime wedges.
So yeah, this makes a LOT of chili. You can freeze it for later consumption, or wait til you have a crowd to feed. This goes very well with the Easy Cornbread.