Texas Beef Bacon Chili

Welcome cool weather with warm bacon chili from our friend Jenn at Once Upon A Chef. Whether it’s for a holiday party or just a normal weeknight, this recipe will carry you through the cold months and satisfy that always-present bacon craving.


  • 1/4 cup ground ancho chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chili pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 (4 pounds) beef chuck roast trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
  • 8 ounces bacon cut into 1/4-inch pieces (this is about 8 slices of bacon so feel free to double or triple up on this one; we know we will)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 small yellow onions, cut into chunks
  • 5 chopped garlic cloves
  • 3 jalapeño cored and diced chiles
  • 4 cups ( 32 oz) beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups lager beer (plus more to enjoy with your chili, duh)
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder



  • Mix all of those spices: the chili powders, cumin, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, and cornmeal, in a small bowl and stir in 1/2 cup water.


  • Season the beef with the salt.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat and stir for about 10 minutes. This will smell delicious and it will take willpower to resist eating all of the bacon on the spot. But, we’re not judging if you falter.
  • Move the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and pour almost all of the fat from the pot into a small bowl.
  • Increase the heat and sear the meat in three batches, so that they are in a single layer, for about 4 minutes per batch, adding more bacon fat (because why not?) saved from step 4. Don’t use all of it, though.


  • Don’t stir or touch the meat; let it to develop a brown crust on one side.
  • Place the seared meat on a plate and add about 1/4 cup of water to the pot (it will smoke, which is good fun). Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to release all of the flavorful brown bits and then pour the dark liquid over the seared meat.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat (from step 4) to the pot. Add the onions, cook, and stir for 5 minutes.


  • Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook 2 more minutes. Add the reserved chili paste and sauté.
  • Add the beef broth and stir with a whisk until the spice mixture is completely dissolved. Scrape the bottom of the pot with the whisk to release any spices.


  • Stir in the the water, beer, crushed tomatoes, molasses, and cocoa powder.
  • Add the reserved bacon (if you haven’t eaten it yet) and seared beef (along with the juices from the beef on the bottom of the plate) back to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and cover, leaving the lid slightly open. Simmer and stir occasionally so the bottom doesn’t burn,  for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (like adding more bacon).

Hopefully this mouthwatering chili from Jenn at Once Upon A Chef gives you something to look forward to in the cold months ahead. Save it for a snow day or make it right this second.  We see lots of Texas Beef Chili in all of our Baconeers’ future.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *