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Jan 24, 2018

Hearty Chili (dairy + gluten free)

Years ago, my husband and I watched cooking shows on TV almost religiously. When we still had cable, it was on Food Network just about constantly. One night we happened to be watching a chili cookoff and started talking about how we'd make the "perfect" chili recipe. This recipe was born almost immediately afterward and has been made more times than we can count. 

Every fall we have family over for a pumpkin carving party and we make this chili every. single. time. It's super hearty and full of flavor. When I first began making this chili, we'd use a bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager for the beer. Once I removed gluten from my diet, the first thing I did was find a substitute that would add just as much flavor. Since then, I have used several different brands of gluten-free beer and each one has been just as flavorful as the last. 

I've made it without the beer as well and, while it does add a certain depth to the chili, the flavor is still delicious without it. I'll be modifying it slightly to be Whole30-friendly by leaving out the beans and beer and doubling the meat. I am incredibly excited to see how it turns out!

Hearty Chili (dairy + gluten free) 

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into ½-1 inch pieces
  • 1 lb. ground beef 
  • 1 lb. ground country sausage (or ground pork) 
  • 1 green bell pepper. diced 
  • ½ white onion, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 bottle gluten free beer (I like New Planet Belgian Ale, or use regular beer if not gluten-free)
  • 2 cans kidney beans 
  • 1 can pinto beans 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 - 12 oz can tomato sauce 
  • 3 Tbsp mild chili powder 
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin 
  • pinch of ground cayenne pepper (optional)
In a skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon pieces until just crisp. Remove bacon from pan to drain on a paper towel. Keep a small amount of bacon grease in the pan for cooking fat. 

Add green pepper and onion to the pan. Saute until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Pour the beer into the pan, bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium low and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.

In a large slow cooker, combine the kidney beans, pinto beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings. Add the beer/onion/pepper mixture and stir until combined. Place the temperature on low.

Add the ground beef and sausage/pork to the pan and return it to the stove on medium heat. Cook until the meat is browned, then drain the grease and add the meat to the slow cooker. Lastly, add the bacon and stir well until combined.

Allow chili to cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve hot. Store leftover chili in a glass container with lid in the refrigerator (if it lasts that long).

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