Chili-Ellena Style

Chili-Ellena Style

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2 slices bacon, diced
1 tbsp. butter
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 pounds lean ground beef
14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
10.5-oz. can tomato puree
2 1/2 cups water
16-oz. can red kidney bean
16-oz. can dark red kidney bean

Toppings: chopped jalapeno, chopped onion or scallion, grated cheddar cheese, lime wedges, tortilla or corn chips, and sour cream


In a Dutch oven or large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until browned. Remove bacon from pan and set aside for later. (if making a large batch, cook bacon on foiled-lined sheet pan at 350ºF for 10-20 minutes). I prefer the pot and I can use the bacon grease instead of butter. But for this instance, I was making a big batch of bacon to have for freezer breakfast sandwiches, so I used the oven.

Add butter and onion to large pot over medium-high heat, and cook until onion is golden. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes more.

Add paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne, chili powder, salt, pepper, and ground beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, breaking up the meat with the side of the spoon, until the beef is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Stir in diced tomatoes with their liquid, tomato puree and water, and mix well. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid thickens, about 40 minutes. It may be necessary to add a little more water to thin the chili.

Stir in beans and their liquid and mix well. Add reserved chopped bacon and stir until thoroughly mixed. Serve in soup bowls with your choice of toppings.

Ellena's Notes

This recipe is so versatile; you can add whatever topping your heart desires. My suggestions are chopped jalapeno, onion, scallion; grated cheddar or pepperjack cheese; lime and sour cream; tortilla chips; the list can go on and on!

This pairs wonderfully with our Rosé of Malbec, but also try our Merlot or Malbec.

Eat Simple, Eat Well, Ellena