Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans

Why this recipe works:

With the goal of developing a no-fuss chili recipe that would taste far better than the sum of its common parts, we discovered that adding the spices to the pan with the aromatics boosted their potency. For our chili recipe, we added the beans with the tomatoes so that they cooked enough to… read more

With the goal of developing a no-fuss chili recipe that would taste far better than the sum of its common parts, we discovered that adding the spices to the pan with the aromatics boosted their potency. For our chili recipe, we added the beans with the tomatoes so that they cooked enough to absorb flavor but not so much that they fell apart. And we found that cooking the chili with the lid on for half of the cooking time resulted in the best consistency.

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Makes about 3 quarts, serving 8 to 10

Good choices for condiments include diced fresh tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced scallions, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. If you are a fan of spicy food, consider using a little more of the red pepper flakes or cayenne--or both. The flavor of the chili improves with age; if possible, make it a day or up to five days in advance and reheat before serving. Leftovers can be frozen for up to a month.

Ingredients

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