Texas Three-Pepper and Beef Chili
Sweet bell pepper, smoky dried chile peppers, and the heat of jalapenos kick this beef chili up a notch. Serve it with cornbread and beer for a taste of the West.
5 slices bacon
2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 dried mild chile peppers (such as ancho), seeded and chopped
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1½ tablespoons chile powder
½ teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 ounces Glace de Viande Gold® dissolved in 4 cups hot water
12 ounces tomato paste
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained, optional
Dark beer for thinning, if desired
Ground black pepper
Cook the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until it is crisp. Remove the bacon from pot, leaving the rendered fat. Crumble the bacon and set it aside.
In the reserved bacon fat, sauté the ground beef with the onion, red pepper, and garlic until the beef is browned. Add the reserved bacon, dried chile peppers, jalapeno, chile powder, salt, and oregano. Stir in the diluted Glace de Viande Gold® and the tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.
Stir in the beans, if you are using them, and continue cooking for 30 minutes more. Thin the chili with beer, if desired, during this last 30 minutes of cooking to get the consistency you like. Season to taste with additional salt and ground black pepper.
"Real" Texas chili would never contain beans, but some Texans have been known to add them on the sly, and they're pretty tasty in this chili.