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Elevate Your Fall Dining Experience with the Ultimate Chili Recipe

As the crisp air of Fall settles in, there's no better way to embrace the season than with comforting, savory delights. Picture the likes of baked ziti, your favorite meatball recipe, and of course, the crown jewel of cold-weather cuisine - the best chili recipe!

 A Time-Tested Favorite

This isn't just any chili recipe; it's a culinary masterpiece that has withstood the test of time. Originally shared last year, it has graced countless kitchens and taste buds, winning over hearts and stomachs. In fact, it has emerged victorious in over two dozen Chili Cook-offs! While I haven't personally entered into a competition, the outpouring of love and success stories from those who have is truly heartwarming.

Unveiling the Ingredients

Savor the Savory Symphony

Before you embark on your chili-making journey, gather these exceptional ingredients:

  • 5 strips of uncooked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 red pepper, also diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (equivalent to 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 pound of ground beef (I prefer 90%, but any variation works)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ancho chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups of beef broth (approximately 295ml)
  • 15 oz can of dark red kidney beans, lightly rinsed and drained (about 425g)
  • 15 oz can of black beans, also lightly rinsed and drained (about 425g)
  • 14.5 oz can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained (about 411g)
  • 7 oz can of fire-roasted green chilis (about 198g)
  • ¼ cup of tomato paste (about 66g)
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

Preferred toppings, including sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and corn chips

Crafting the Perfect Chili - Step by Step

Step 1: Bacon Bliss

Begin your chili journey by placing the finely chopped, uncooked bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cook it over medium heat until it's irresistibly crisp and perfectly cooked through. Once that bacon is a work of art, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate. Ensure that about 1 ½ tablespoons of grease remain in the pot; this liquid gold holds the key to flavor.

Step 2: The Aromatic Prelude

Introduce the diced onion and red pepper to the pot. Sauté them until they reach a state of sublime softness, which should take around 3-5 minutes. As the kitchen fills with the delightful aroma, add the minced garlic and let it work its fragrant magic for about 30 seconds.

Step 3: Beefy Transformation

The star of the show, ground beef, now takes center stage. Use a spatula to break it apart as it cooks. When the meat reaches about 50% browning, introduce brown sugar, and all the spices - chili powders, paprika, cumin, onion powder, black pepper, salt, and a hint of cayenne pepper. Stir the mix masterfully to ensure an even distribution of flavors.

Step 4: The Grand Assembly

Now, bring together all the remaining ingredients: beef broth, kidney beans, black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, green chilis, Worcestershire sauce, and, of course, your crispy bacon. Stir this culinary symphony with care, allowing the flavors to mingle.

Step 5: The Flavor Unleashed

Elevate the heat to bring the concoction to a hearty boil, and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes while stirring frequently. Afterward, reduce the heat, leaving it to simmer uncovered. Over 30 minutes, the flavors will meld and evolve, creating a chili-like no other.

The Grand Finale

Your journey ends with the presentation. Ladle this tantalizing chili into bowls and crown it with your preferred toppings. Sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and corn chips are the must-have triumvirate that elevates this dish to legendary status.

In conclusion, this best chili recipe isn't just food; it's an experience. With a perfect balance of flavors and a touch of magic, it encapsulates the essence of Fall in a single bowl. Prepare to be enchanted by its savory symphony as you create unforgettable moments around the dinner table.

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