Smoky Beef Chili


This is the perfect weeknight chili.  I even think it’s going to be my new Sloppy Joe’s go to recipe.  My personal chili recipe is a three day cooking marathon of simmering, tasting and blending.  It’s intense, not for a quick meal and I never use ground beef as the meat in chili.

I liked the smoky, sweetness of this dish and it couldn’t have been easier to throw together.  It’s also good the next day for lunch.

Serve this over pasta or rice.  Melt some cheese on top or dollop some sour cream…whatever you like.  Like I said, great for Sloppy Joe’s as well.

In a large bowl soak dried chiles (the ones you always see at the grocery store in a big bag) and prunes in just enough boiling water to cover until softened, about 15 minutes.  Drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the soaking liquid.  Discard the chili stems and seeds.

In a food processor, puree the chiles and prunes with the tomato paste and reserved soaking liquid.  Set aside.

In a large pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a small bowl.  Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and paprika and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. 

Add the chili mixture to the beef.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes and bacon.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.  Season to your liking with salt.

Serve over pasta, rice or as Sloppy Joe’s.

Smoky Beef Chili
Adapted from Every Day

5 dried red chiles
1 cup pitted prunes
Boiling water
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 pounds ground beef
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
One 28 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed or diced
Salt to taste

In a large bowl soak dried chiles (the ones you always see at the grocery store in a big bag) and prunes in just enough boiling water to cover until softened, about 15 minutes.  Drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the soaking liquid.  Discard the chili stems and seeds.

In a food processor, puree the chiles and prunes with the tomato paste and reserved soaking liquid.  Set aside.

In a large pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a small bowl.  Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and paprika and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. 

Add the chili mixture to the beef.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes and bacon.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.  Season to your liking with salt.

Post a Comment

43 Comments

  1. Mmmmmm! Tis the season for Chili!

    The colors, the flavors…everything about it just shouts, “It’s cold and blustery and winter is beating down the door, but it’s going to be warm and toasty inside!”

    Reply
  2. Velva 2

    This is intense! What a great chili recipe. Love it. I have always enjoyed chili over rice and pasta too.

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  3. Angie 3

    My mouth is watering, looks so good and easy.

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  4. prunes, huh? Hmmm. Interesting. 😉 The chilis look and sound yummy.

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  5. dawn 5

    Yeah, I’ll take a bowl or three. I bet the prunes really give this a sweet feel with the smkokiness of the paprika. I love it.

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  6. Pam 6

    I’ve never seen prunes added to chili. It does look perfect for sloppy joes.

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  7. Want.

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  8. Looks tasty. I’m not a fan of prunes, but I can see how they would add an interesting dimension to chili.

    I’d love to see your slow chili recipe sometime.

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  9. Get this…my husband hates ground beef and beans so I never get to eat chili. And this recipe looks so good I could cry.

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  10. prunes is a nice addition, looks so good!

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  11. dawn 11

    I’ve heard of that, using the prunes.
    I love a really flavorful chili.

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  12. snowmoonelk 12

    I thought you said you never use ground beef in your chilli recipe? The smokiness sounds just divine.

    Reply
  13. Noble Pig 13

    I don’t, but this isn’t my personal chili recipe.

    Reply
  14. Lena in VT 14

    I can see how this would be perfect for Sloppy Joes, it’s the perfect thickness and I love the prune addition, I’m sure it’s a nice flavor.

    Reply
  15. Barbie with a T 15

    I used to live in New Mexico and I can tell you that this is the way to make chili! There is nothing else like using those dried chili peppers to give your dish that real Mexican food flavor. It is also an essential for Posole. I used to have those strands of red chile peppers hanging outside on the patio year round, and use them in a lot of authentic New Mexican dishes. The red chiles and also the green chiles were just about the only pungent seasoning that the New Mexicans used. Two different tastes, and very tasty! I think this chili will be on my menu real soon!

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  16. Egghead 16

    The only thing missing are the beans. I must have the beans. Sounds yummy on a cold blustery day.

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  17. Debbie 17

    Cathy, your chili looks great but I just saw those brownies and my sweet tooth screamed “WOW!” I have GOT to make those!!!!

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  18. That is some good looking chili!

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  19. Melynda 19

    This looks really good, yum!I am especially intrigued by the dried prunes. I just won’t tell (him!).

    Reply
  20. Donna 20

    How delicious Cathy!! I have got to try this, my hubby likes dishes such as this. I am so not telling him bout the prunes till afte the fact, hahaha.

    Reply
  21. LilSis 21

    It sounds great! I know my son would love this. And, he would pour it over a bowl of Fritos and cover with grated cheese for an awesome frito pie. (that’s what we call it in Texas.)

    Reply
  22. Laurie 22

    You are killing me tonight! I went to lunch with a friend today. She ordered chili and I ordered corn chowder. I spent the whole hour coveting her chili! I could barely concentrate on our conversation. Now you’re tempting me with chili again. Gotta have some, very soon.

    Reply
  23. Prunes? Really? I’ll be damned! Well, I guess you won’t be constipated after eating this? :)

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  24. grace 24

    i’m missing the beans too, but i’m intrigued by the prune usage. i’m always game for a new chili to try!

    Reply
  25. I’ve never thought about putting bacon in chili?! That sounds delicious!

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  26. The prunes are such a great idea. I have to try the dried chile and prune combo with my next chili!

    Reply
  27. Trisha 27

    You always make it look so easy! I wish I had the time . . .

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  28. Bob 28

    Oh man, that looks awesome. I bet it would be even better wrapped in pizza dough. 😉

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  29. June 29

    Looks absolutely delicious!

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  30. Mmmm, prunes? Sounds good to me. I’m always up for trying a new chili recipe.

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  31. What a great recipe you just reminded me of a chili recipe I made a few years back.Perhaps I should make it again.Its slow cooked with molasses and at the end I drizzle with a puree of Guacamole!

    Reply
  32. Sandy 32

    I love making chili. It’s easy and so tasty, but I’ve never tried the “smokey” flavor! Yummy!

    Reply
  33. That looks like a pretty simple recipe…and looks great!

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  34. Marjie 34

    Simple, warm and filling are absolute musts in winter. I think you’re about to spend something approximating your first real winter, aren’t you? I promise your boys will love it, but by March you will be begging for warmer days.

    Reply
  35. annbb 35

    Prunes…Must try this for that alone! Looks delicious.

    Reply
  36. elra 36

    Not sure why, but I never made CHILI before. Yours is really look tempting.

    Reply
  37. I am seeing prunes pop up in stews and chilis to give another depth of flavor. I will have to try this some time. Will you share your personal chili recipe ever?

    Reply
  38. What a unique chili, sounds amazing with the addition of prunes and smoked paprika!

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  39. It sounds amazing!

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  40. imom 40

    Looks easy to make and delicious too!

    Reply
  41. Mike D 41

    What kind of dried chilis did you use in this? It was hard to tell from the pictures, but I know if I used like 5 guajillo peppers, this thing would be smoking hot :)

    Reply
  42. Lydia 42

    I love the addition of prunes to this chili. I love to use prunes in baking, but I forget about them in savory dishes.

    Reply
  43. Wendy 43

    I’m afraid I’d be adding beans as well, if for no other reason than to extend the dish. Without the beans, this would be a perfect topper for chili dogs or chili fries, etc. It’s a must try!

    Reply

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