You’ll have to take our word for it that this chili is amazing, because the picture doesn’t do it any justice. It’s the kind that’s so good, that when we served it, every adult in the room (and we were a boisterous group with post-hurricane cabin fever) was silent for at least two minutes. We got the recipe from our friend Becky, who got it from her friend Monica, who got it from who knows where. And then my husband doctored it up and simplified it over the last couple of years. We call it “adult chili” because it has a lot of heat.


16 oz slab bacon

2 lbs ground beef

1 large onion

1 green pepper

1 Jalapeno pepper

2 cloves of garlic

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 chipotle in adobo sauce (they sell these in cans)

3 tablespoons Mexican chili powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

1 tsp dark cocoa

1 lime

2 cups water

Salt and pepper

Step 1: make your dried paste first by taking the below 3 ingredients and mixing together

3 tablespoons Mexican chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes, and ground in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle

2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican

Step 2: 

Take the bacon, chop it into small lardon pieces, render it, take out with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel. Leave 1/3 of the bacon fat and in it, brown the ground beef. Do this in small batches so it browns and doesn’t steam (it shouldn’t be piled up in the pan.)

When the meat is all done, put it in a bowl to the side. Add into the same pan the chopped onion and saute it. Then add in the chopped green pepper, and the seeded and chopped Jalapeno, and 2 chopped cloves of garlic, and sweat them. When they are done, add back in the bacon and ground beef.

At this point add in the spice paste, and one chopped up chipotle. Then add in two cups of water, one can of crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of dark cocoa, and the juice of 1 lime. Let it cook down 40-45 minutes at a low-medium heat.

Serve the chili with any of the following side dishes: warm pinto or kidney beans, corn bread or chips, corn tortillas or tamales, rice, biscuits, or just plain crackers, and top with any of the following garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro leaves, minced white onion, diced avocado, shredded cheddar or jack cheese, or sour cream.



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Comments (2)


  1. Posted by: emilee

    yum – looks perfect for this weather! where can i find the receipe?

    • Posted by: Yolanda Edwards

      i didn’t finish the post! will do it today and put it up later! whoops!

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