Sweet Bacon Chili

This post is going to make a lot of people very happy. Why? Because this chili has been winning church cook-offs for 7 years and I’m FINALLY getting it on the blog! Seriously, half of the congregation at my church is ticked when I bring it because they want their chili to win and the other half would be super ticked if I didn’t bring it! Ha! I also made it for one of my cooking demonstrations at the Utah State Fair last month and promised everyone that I’d get it on the blog soon. Sorry it took so long!

This chili is also the “recipe that started it all” with my TV cooking. Three years ago this month I happened to be watching Good Things Utah when they announced a chili contest that they were doing. I thought, “My chili is awesome and always wins the church cook-off, why not?” I submitted my recipe and 2 weeks later got a call from the producer telling me that I was a finalist. I thought, “What in the world have I gotten myself into???” I had never cooked on TV or done any kind of public cooking demonstration. I was so nervous but as soon as I walked in to the television studio, my nerves melted away and I felt so excited. I rocked my demonstration and it felt like I was fulfilling a dream that I didn’t even know was possible. It was amazing!

Cooking on TV is a dream that was DEEP in my heart for years. Being able to do it regularly now is so awesome and I’m so grateful that I get to do it! Having this opportunity has lead to so many other things and I’m having the BEST time. I feel like I’m finally becoming the person that I was meant to be and honestly fulfilling my destiny (as cheesy as that sounds).

Ok, back to the chili! Crispy bacon. That’s a major thing that sets this apart. And I know what you’re thinking, “You’re a Texan and you put beans in your chili???” Ha! Yes I certainly do! That’s why I say my recipes have a ‘Texas twist” because they’re not all perfectly authentic. I really like the texture that the beans add to it. This is such a simple chili but the technique makes it AMAZING. You crisp the bacon first then cook the onions, jalapeno, and garlic in the bacon drippings. It adds so much flavor! The rest is pretty simple! My Sweet Bacon Chili will be your new “go to” chili recipe and if you take it to any chili cook-offs, expect to win! (Just give me the credit! Ha!) Here’s a really important tip too…ALWAYS double this recipe! Trust me.
(Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace)

Items on sale at Lee’s October 15-21: ground beef (organic), bacon, onions, chili beans, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce

Sweet Bacon Chili

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
4-5 slices bacon, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 can mild chili beans (15 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 can stewed tomatoes, *chopped (15 oz)
2/3 C ketchup
1/4 C brown sugar
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
1 TB chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain bacon grease from pan leaving about 1 TB. Add onion and jalapeño then cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain excess grease from pan.

Add all remaining ingredients including bacon. Stir together then let simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Taste and add more cayenne and salt if needed. Just a pinch at a time.

**Note: Use kitchen scissors to “chop” stewed tomatoes while they’re still in the can.

Green Chile Sausage Chowder

It’s green chile season! I was so excited to see Hatch green chilies featured in this week’s Lee’s ad. We lived in New Mexico for a few years when stationed there for the Air Force and fell in love with green chilies. Everywhere you go this time of year, there are metal cages full of green chilies roasting over an open flame. The smell is glorious! I had never seen the Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage before and it inspired me to make this chowder. I love how it turned out! The creamy broth paired with the slightly spicy green chilies is the perfect match! (Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace)

Items on sale at Lee’s August 20-26: Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage, frozen corn, cheddar cheese, flour

Green Chile Sausage Chowder

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 (19 oz) package Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage, casing removed
1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ stick butter
½ cup flour
2 (14.5 each) cans chicken broth
1 pint half-and-half
2 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Heat a large Dutch oven or pot to medium-high. Add sausage and onion then cook until browned. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring often.

Add butter and once melted, sprinkle flour over sausage mixture. Stir until flour is incorporated and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and half-and-half. Add salt and pepper. Increase heat, bring to a low boil and stir until thickened slightly.

Add potatoes, carrots, corn and green chilies. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.
Serve with cheese as a garnish.

*Notes: If you cannot find Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage it’s ok. Just use plain pork sausage and add another 4 oz can of green chilies.

Easy, hearty, and so good!
If you can find this in your grocery store, get it! Delicious!