Dishing Up the Dirt

Smoky Bacon, Beef & Beer Chili

I had to get creative with what we had in the house for this hearty meal.  I got our truck stuck in the driveway (in the snow) while I was on my way to the grocery store to grab buns and mustard for burgers. Taylor was up at the mountain (he works ski patrol in the winter months) and I wanted to surprise him with grilled burgers for dinner when he got off home. Unfortunately, I knew I’d need the tractor to pull the car out and a second person so I went back into the house and changed our dinner plans. Luckily, it’s a recipe win for you because I had no intention of sharing our burgers but this…..this stew is worth sharing! Smoky Bacon, beef and beer chili is just what the doctor ordered after a few curse words and unsuccessful shoveling in the snow. After taste testing it on the stove I whipped out my camera. We were stoked with how this turned out and will definitely be making it again. With minimal ingredients (and no beans because we were out of those too!) this experimental chili turned into one of the best stews we’ve had all winter. I love when you’re forced to get creative and work with what you’ve got. This stew is hearty, nourishing and full local ingredients thanks to our farm (yay for canned tomatoes, storage onions and garlic!), our neighboring ranchers, and local brewpub.

Grab a spoon, pour yourself a beer and dig in!

Smoky Bacon, Beef & Beer Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Serves: 4

  • 3 slices thick cut bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle beer---I used a lager which was very nice but any light beer will do
  • minced parsley for serving


  1. In a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown up a bit (be careful not to burn the bacon! It will continue to cook with the rest of the ingredients). Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes longer. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  2. Increase the heat to medium high and add the ground beef. Use a wooden spoon to break it up a bit and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the spices and salt and stir the mixture until everything is evenly coated. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and beer. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pan partially and cook for about 30 minutes.
  3. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with minced parsley and a cold beer.


*Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as needed *Taste test as you go

Leave a Reply

4 thoughts on “Smoky Bacon, Beef & Beer Chili

  1. Rachael says:

    Oh my goodness this sounds like the dream dish 🙂
    Rachael xx.

  2. Catie says:

    The recipe sounds surperb, one thought that came to my minde is that I would remove the bacon after it browned, and then return it to the rest of the ingredients before the last 30 minutes of simmering! Then there is no worry about it becoming over cooked!

    1. Andrea says:

      Hi Catie, I hope you enjoy this chili as much as we do. I’d encourage you to keep the bacon in with the rest of the ingredients as you cook because the bacon really infuses the ground beef and veggies with a lovely flavor as everything simmers. It wont get overcooked! However, if you want to add it at the end that’d be fine too, Regardless I hope you love this dish as much as we do. Cheers!

  3. Helen says:

    This dish is delicious, tried it with a ginger beer to switch things up and it turned out just as lovely as I’d hoped!

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