Growing up, my family had a longstanding list of Christmas traditions. For example, every year, my dad would drive four hours away to pick up both my paternal and maternal sets of grandparents. He would then drive another four hours back with them in tow so they could spend a couple of days with us, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
To prepare for the anarchy that would soon ensue, my mom, dad, and I would watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. You know the one, where Clark Griswold tries and tries to throw the best Christmas for his family, but it ends up being a total disaster. Man, did that movie resonate with us…
Anyway, so every year, once my dad showed back up at our house with both sets of grandparents, everyone was always warmly greeted by a huge, steaming hot pot of chili and a mountain of grilled cheese sandwiches.
So chili means a lot to me. It reminds me of Christmas joy and laughter. And also of Cousin Eddie and Jelly of the Month clubs. (Sorry if you’ve never watched Christmas Vacation before. Spoilers!)
But as fond as I am of chili, my mom’s chili was always just… okay. And it pain me to say that. It really does!
A couple of years ago, I was at a Chili Competition (not competing; I was the MC), and afterwards, I was speaking with the winner. I remember saying to him, “Man! That was some good chili!”
And he said, “Yes, it’s my father’s recipe.”
“Wow!” I replied, “That makes it even more special! And let me guess, you haven’t changed a thing about it?”
He paused for a second and then said, “Are you kidding me? I have changed EVERYTHING about it! My dad was terrible at making chili!!!”
And that’s exactly what has happened here. For years and years, I made my mom’s mediocre chili, changing this and that until I came up with the world’s best. And now, with the exception of a can of tomato sauce and a can of diced tomatoes, it has absolutely nothing in common with my mom’s recipe. For example, instead of using just ground beef, I used beef, sausage, and bacon. Instead of tomato sauce as the only cooking liquid, I use tomato sauce, Mexican beer, and two types of broth. (Just a quick note: I know that it might sound crazy to use two types, but trust me, it works and provides an amazing depth of flavor!)
So try out my chili recipe below! Not only is it a carnivorous delight and loaded with flavor, it is also Paleo! You can even make it Whole 30 friendly too by omitting the beer and adding in 12 more ounces of beef broth.
So ready to get cooking and make your taste buds sing? Let’s do this!Print
16 oz. grass-fed ground beef
4 strips sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon
12 oz. Mexican beer (I use Tecate Original. Omit if on Whole 30)
1 white onion, diced
1 green onion, diced
6 oz. medium chunky salsa
16 oz. low sodium beef broth
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. Primal Palate Taco Seasoning
1 tsp. ground coriander
Kite Hill Plain Unsweetened Almond Yogurt, for garnish
Avocado, sliced for garnish
In a castiron skillet, cook bacon until slightly underdone. Remove from pan, reserving 1 Tbsp. of bacon grease. Set aside.
In the same pan, with the remaining bacon grease, sauté the onion and bell pepper until the onion is translucent. Set aside.
Cook the ground beef and sausage until done and no longer pink.
In the slow cooker, add the bacon, beef, sausage, onion, and bell pepper. Next, add the beer and two types of broth. Add the reserved 1 Tbsp. of bacon grease. Hush! It makes it taste good. I promise!
Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 hours.
Serve with dairy-free, plain yogurt (I use Kite Hill Plain Unsweetened Almond Yogurt) and sliced avocado.
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