My parents were in town recently, and we did what we normally do; ate and drank our way through a long weekend.  I would have had my Mom make her chili while she was here, but my Dad and I ended making a very nearly Julia Child rendition Boeff Bourguignon.  I regret not taking pictures, because it was a truly beautiful dish, and served over toasted gnocchi, it was pretty much the highlight meal of the trip. 

However, I’d been craving my Mom’s Chili ever since they left, and now that it’s finally cold enough,  I thought I would make it and share the recipe with my fellow foodies.


  The only tweaks I made to my Mom’s recipe is using chuck roast cut into bite sized pieces rather than chuck ground for chili and making changes to the spice level.  The best part;  our bell pepper plant finally produced a perfect pepper, and rather than letting it die while we waited for it to turn red (or orange, or even yellow), I knew it would be perfect in this chili.  I know there are beans in it, so apologies to all of you Texans.  I was raised in Vegas, my Mom raised in California, so our chili has beans.  🙂





  • 2 lbs. of chuck roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. of thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, deveined, deseeded, and diced
  • 1-4 jalapeno peppers, deveined, deseeded, and diced finely
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cans of chili beans in sauce
  • 4 Tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp each of cumin, oregano, coriander, thyme and paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, diced finely
  • 1 large can of whole tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • water
  • olive oil
  • For garnish; sour cream, cheddar cheese, and garlic chives


In a skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat, saute the bacon until it just starts to crisp up.  Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside on a paper towel covered plate.  Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapenos to the pan, saute until tender for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, and set aside. 

Then, add a bit of olive oil to an enameled cast iron dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, and over medium heat, brown the chuck on all sides, in batches if necessary.  You don’t want to crowd the pan as the pan will cool significantly enough that the meat will steam rather than sear. 

As soon as the chuck is browned, add the rest of the ingredients that have been reserved back in, and all of the other ingredients, as well.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to keep at a simmer for an hour or two, until the meat is extremely tender. 

I served this with a dollup of sour cream and some grated cheddar cheese.