Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

This is my chili recipe that I've been working on for about 15 years. It freezes well, and is the perfect food for a cold winter night. There are a lot of extra ingredients in here which I think make it special, but if you don't have them you could leave them out & you would still have some really great chili. Optional items you could leave out with no harm done: sofrito, Rotel, beef broth, coriander, smoked hot paprika. I make this with ground beef or ground turkey and beans, but if you wanted to be more traditional, you could use 3 pounds of cubed beef, or if you wanted to go veggie you could use 2 cans of kidney beans and 1 can of chick peas and no beef. Sofrito is a mixture of onion, garlic, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cilantro & spices. Many recipes can be found for it here on Zaar, and I highly recommend making some & freezing it in 1/2 cup portions - it is wonderful & can be used in many dishes. N.B. - Smoked hot paprika is hot, so if you're not into hot stuff you might want to leave it out.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place the onions (or shallots), celery, green pepper, red pepper, & garlic in a food processor and process until they are a smooth puree.
  2. In a large stock pot, saute the diced bacon until it is browned. Drain off the fat, reserving 2 tablespoons. Return the two tablespoons of bacon fat to the bacon in the pot and saute the ground beef in the bacon fat until it has browned. *If you don't wish to use bacon you can use two tablespoons of olive oil here*.
  3. Add the onion/celery/bell pepper/garlic puree to the beef and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Add all other ingredients and stir to mix well.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the bay leaves and serve.
  7. This is even better if you make it the day ahead. Refrigerate, the reheat and remove the bay leaves before serving.


Most Helpful

This is IT! Look no further! This is the most perfect chili recipe! I used ground venison as I don't eat store bought red-meat. But everything else was the same. Made with cornbread, and topped this off with some shaved cheddar. Oh my goodness-heaven on earth! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! I will make none other! LA :-)

L.A. Stewart December 06, 2010

I made this for lunch for DH and DH's father. I cut the recipe in half and used a little less chili powder since I use some rotel. I used Recipe#49997#49997 by Chef#37449#37449 for the sofrito sauce. I also used some chuck roast I had left over (browned it up) and then some ground beef and left the onions, celery and garlic chopped and sauteed them after browning the meat. Very good recipe and one I will make again. Made for Zaar Alphabet Soup Game 3009.

mama smurf November 15, 2009

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