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Freezer Meal Chili Con Carne with Bacon and Beer

  • Author: Mavis Butterfield



6 slices bacon
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 {12 oz} bottle amber beer
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 {28 oz} can whole plum tomatoes, crushed
1 1/2 cups beef broth, plus more if needed
2 {15 oz} cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon hot sauce
Shredded cheddar cheese and/or sour cream for topping {optional}


In a large pan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Pat excessive grease with a paper towel, let cool, and then crumble. Pour bacon grease {with the exception of 1 tablespoon} out of pan and set aside. Add the beef to the pan, and cook until brown, breaking up meat as it cooks. Transfer meat to a plate using a slotted spoon to drain, dump leftover grease and wipe pan clean.

Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon drippings to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook 2 additional minutes. Add the salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the tomato paste is bright red, 5-6 minutes. Add the beer and simmer for 3 minutes, or until almost completely reduced.

Stir in the beef, cocoa powder, tomatoes, broth and beans and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the hot sauce and season with salt to taste. If the chili is too thick, add additional beef broth.  Let chili cool completely before sealing in freezer bags and placing in freezer.

To heat after freezing, place entire contents of bag in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Top with cheese and sour cream. Enjoy!