Metro Weekly

Savor Recipe: Chili Time

This chili recipe includes bacon, chorizo, and V8 juice

bowl of chili, recipe, savor
Chili — Photo: by Craig Bowman

I’ve been making chili for a long time and rarely make it the same way twice.

Don’t stress yourself out if you are missing something from the ingredients (and feel free to mix up the meats and beans any way you’d like).

If you aren’t a vegetarian, don’t skip the bacon, and please try it with the V8 juice and the dark chocolate.

Once I was all out of beer, so I substituted root beer and have used it ever since.


  • 5 strips uncooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, diced
  • 2 7-oz cans chopped green chilis (mild or spicy)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ lbs ground sausage or beef
  • 1 lb ground or chopped chorizo
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 5½-oz cans of V-8 juice
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 12 oz dark beer (or root beer)
  • 2 15 oz cans kidney, black, or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced, fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, chopped


(Photos numbered accordingly)

1. Dice the bacon, onions, and peppers.

diced bacon

2. Place uncooked, chopped bacon in a large cocotte or Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.

cooking bacon

3. Sauté the onion, pepper, and green chilis until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

sautéed onions & green chilis

4. Add ground meat and chopped chorizo, and cook until lightly browned.

browning beef and chorizo

5. Add sugar and all of the spices and stir well to combine. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.

chili spices

6. Add the remaining ingredients (except the bacon and chocolate) and stir well to combine.

beans in chili

7. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

boiling chili

8. Add the chocolate. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes.

chocolate in chili

9. Add the bacon and stir to combine. Serve with your favorite toppings. I always have crema or sour cream, shredded cheese, scallions, tortilla chips, and hot sauce available.

bacon in chili

Questions? Text to Craig at 202-217-0996 or email

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