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Chili with Bacon

My office has a chili contest every Friday before the Super Bowl. I've made it my mission to win this year, so I had to come up with a recipe that would be able to compete with the reigning two time champion. I also decided this would be an opportunity the showcase my kitchen talents after being inspired by Doniree's latest test kitchen post. This recipe has it's inspiration in my basic chili recipe, Kassie's delicious looking Greatest Chili Ever, and Emily's Bacon Blog. On a side note, I will be referring to Emily's blog as Emily's Bacon Blog in the future.

I decided to roast my own peppers, cook my own beans, and try to avoid canned ingredients as much as possible. The only things that I bought canned were tomato products. It's hard to find good tomatoes in January and if you do find them it will cost an arm and a leg. This is what I started with.

That package in the front, yep that's bacon. Don't worry I didn't waste the Furious by putting it in the chili, that was for consumption during the cooking process. I had soaked the beans all night and during the workday, so I started heating those up before I did anything else.

Chili isn't the most difficult thing to throw together, it's a matter of getting the ingrediants ready at approximatly the same time so you can put them all in the pot quickly. The first thing I cooked was the bacon. I decided to bake it, since I didn't want to spend an hour cooking up a pound of bacon. Here is the bacon before it went into the oven.

A wondeful sight, isn't it?

Here is the bacon after it came out of the oven. Mmmm.

While the bacon was cooking it was time to get the other ingrediants ready. The first thing I did was remove the stems and seeds from the peppers. I went with pablano pepper, chili peppers, and jalopenos. I was going to roast them before chopping them. Here they are ready for the oven.

Here they are after being roasted, and chopped. I left them fairly large so people could pick around them if they wanted to.

While the peppers and bacon were in the oven, I chopped up some onions and mushrooms. I went with a yellow and a white onion, and stuck with white mushrooms. Here are the mushrooms chopped and ready to go into the pot. Don't they look lovely?

For meat I used pork, which I find gives chili a much better flavor than beef. I browned this with come ground cayenne pepper and a few red pepper flakes. Then I added the mushrooms, onions, peppers, and pork into a pot, added about a 1/2 cup of chicken stock, approximately 3 tablespoons of chili powder, and let that cook down a bit.

I should mention here that I completely misjudged how much chili this was going to make. I ended up cooking it in two pots. This is a ton of chili.

At this point I added the tomato sauce and chopped up and added the whole tomatoes. I had misjudged how much of this I was going to need, so I had to make a grocery store run to pick up a few additional cans. I ended up going with a 32 oz can of sauce in both pots of chili.

Finally it was time to add my secret weapons. First I added two cloves of garlic into each pot. Followed by this.

And this

Yes that is brown sugar and bacon. I decided adding a little sweetness would be a good idea, I love putting brown sugar in pasta sauce, it adds another layer to the tomato flavor.

Here is the finished product. Two pots of delicious chili. I don't know if it will take first place or not, but I will say that it is some really good chili.

I'll update the post later today with the results of the contest.

Completely forgot to update the post. I didn't place in the contest, the chili was still good, but after sitting overnight the bacon kind of took over the flavors. If you love bacon you would have loved it but apparently my co-workers don't love bacon as much as Twitter.


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