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Oct 22, 2021

Chili con Carne

This chili is full of chunks of tender beef. If you like super meaty chili, definitely give this one a try. 

This chili is delicious piping hot in a bowl topped with your favorite garnishes, and it would also make a wonderful filling for soft tacos, quesadillas, or burritos. Or serve it with tortillas on the side to sop up all of the delicious sauce. 

 While I added kidney beans to the finished chili, if you are a purist, you can make it without the beans.

Secret Ingredients in this chili:

The number one secret ingredient in this chili is, of course, bacon! First, you fry four slices of bacon in a large Dutch oven. Then, you use the drippings for both browning the beef chunks and cooking the aromatics and jalapeños. 

After that, you toss the crumbled bacon into the pot as everything is simmering. It adds a delicious smoky flavor. 

The second secret ingredient is chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. They are blended with canned tomatoes to add even more smokey flavor of the dish. 

The final secret ingredient is yellow corn muffin mix. Once you've simmered the chili for a couple of hours, mix some of the sauce with a few tablespoons of the muffin mix and cook it briefly in the microwave to magically thicken. Add this mixture to the chili for a thick and silky texture. 

The first time I made this chili, I used the Jiffy brand of corn muffin mix. This time, the store was out of the Jiffy brand, so I tried the Bob's Red Mill brand. Both work beautifully to thicken the sauce. 

For the meat, buy a boneless beef chuck roast and cut it up yourself. It doesn't take that long, you can trim as much or as little of the fat as you want, and, as opposed to buying pre-cut stew meat, you know exactly what cut of meat you are using. 

Plus, chuck roast is a pretty affordable cut and it has lots of marbling throughout (and it was half off last week!). 

How to make this chili con carne:

First, brown the beef chunks in batches in bacon drippings and set them aside. 

Puree a can of diced tomatoes with some chipotle chiles and sauce in a food processor or mini blender. (My little mini blender has been my new favorite toy. It's so easy to use and clean). 

Next, cook chopped onions and jalapeños in more bacon drippings. Add chili powder, cumin, herbs, garlic, plus the tomato chili mixture, water, the cooked bacon, beef, and some brown sugar. 

After that, simmer the ingredients, covered for about an hour, and then uncovered for about 45 minutes, skimming off the fat about half way through. 

Finally, cook some of the sauce with the corn muffin mix in the microwave and stir it into to the pot. 

Add the beans at the end if you are using them and heat through. 

Ideas for topping a bowl of chili:

Chopped fresh onions

Shredded cheddar or Jack cheese

Shredded cabbage


Crema or sour cream

Chopped avocado

Crushed tortilla chips

Pickled jalapeño slices

What are your favorite chili toppings? 

October is National Chili Month! This is my third year of participating! My past contributions include Frito Pie chili, Chiliville Chili, and slow cooker chile verde with pork

Welcome to our 2021 Chili Cook-Off! 

October is Chili Cook-Off Month! We have delicious recipes from across the country to get your chili making to the next level of deliciousness!

#ChiliCookOff is an annual blogging event that is hosted by Ashley from Cheese Curd In Paradise

I originally posted this chili in February of 2013. I've updated the post with brand new photos, enhanced instructions, and extra cooking tips. Plus, we got to enjoy this chili again! 

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 2 HourTotal time: 2 H & 30 M
This chili is full of chunks of tender beef. If you like super meaty chili, definitely give this one a try.


  • 1 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (I used Embasa) plus 2 tsp of extra sauce from the can
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked, drained, and finely chopped, with 3 tablespoons of bacon fat drippings reserved
  • 1 3 1/2 to 4 pound boneless beef chuck-eye roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large jalapeño chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
  • 2 14 ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)


  1. Blend the tomatoes and the chipotles in the bowl of a food processor or a blender.
  2. Dry the beef with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large Dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of bacon drippings until very hot and brown half of the meat. Transfer the meat to a bowl.
  4. Heat another tablespoon of bacon fat in the Dutch oven and brown the rest of the meat. Transfer to the bowl.
  5. Add the last tablespoon of bacon fat to the pan and add the onions and jalapeños and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.
  7. Add the water, tomato puree, bacon, beef, and brown sugar.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for an hour.
  9. Turn of the heat and let rest for five to ten minutes.
  10. Skim of the fat with a large shallow spoon, turn the heat back on, and simmer on low, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  11. Measure one cup of the chili liquid into a medium bowl and stir in the corn muffin mix. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for one minute. It should have thickened.
  12. Stir the mixture into the chili and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened.
  13. Add the optional beans if desired.
  14. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts



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chili, beef, stew
Main dish
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Would you like to comment?

  1. I feel like I could just take a bite ... right off the screen. Great pics!

  2. This looks amazing, Karen. Thanks for linking up to Tasty Thursdays. This post is being FEATURED this week. Thanks, Nichi

  3. Cornmeal right into the chili....what a great looks scrumptious!!

  4. That's an inviting bowl and love the flavors!

  5. Love that you start this chili with BACON! Delicious!

  6. This looks so meaty! I still have chuck roasts from last year's beef quarter and the new one is coming!

  7. Making chili with chuck roast is definitely the way to go! The texture of the tender beef in larger pieces really makes it special!

  8. Your chili looks amazing! I love all the flavors and all the meat!

  9. This is so thick and hearty! I love the meat and bacon with the jiffy mixed in! Sounds amazing!


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