New Years Day Chili

NYD Chili 2

This is my New Years Day Chili recipe…which, to me, is the ultimate chili.

Tomato-y, beef-y, vegetable-y, bean-y … all with a depth of flavor that most chilis lack.

There is slight spice…to make it accessible to many people … you can always add more of your favorite hot sauce later, right?  I use Espelette chili powder…it has a clean, bright, spiciness (2000-4000 on the Scoville scale) and comes from the Basque Region of France, which I’m currently obsessed with.

Today is February 23…it’s true…but this version of the recipe is technically number four.  I’ve adjusted the types of beef and peppers a few different ways and have finally found what I was looking for.  It may sound boring, but there’s a reason stew meat and green bell peppers are so often used in chili.

Ah…the Flavor Bomb Paste #2…this is what gives the chili a layered depth of flavor that is so often missing.  FBP #1 was too salty…hence the second variation.

Make it on a day when you have hours for it to simmer on the stove…like New Years Day…or during a snowstorm…or on a Sunday.


  • 12 oz bacon, large chop (I use Trader Joe’s Black Forest Bacon)
  • 1 – 1 ½  lbs lean beef stew meat
  • 2 medium onions, small chop
  • 2 stalks celery, medium chop
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, medium chop 
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 c red wine (I use Cabernet) or beer (I use Nitro Milk Stout)
  • “Flavor Bomb Paste #2” (recipe below)
  • 1 c beef stock
  • 10 oz button mushrooms, small chop (I do a quick blitz in the food processor)
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded, medium chop
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh, if you have it)
  • 3 (15 oz) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 3 (15oz) cans beans (I use 2 dark red kidney and 1 black), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

Flavor Bomb Paste #2 (whisk ingredients below in a small bowl)

  • ⅓  c tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • ¼ c brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 ½  tsp Espelette (adjust amount or type of chili pepper to your taste)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½    tsp pepper (I use green or black)


  1. In a dutch oven, over medium heat, saute the bacon until fat is rendered.  Remove bacon to a paper towel with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Pour bacon fat into a small bowl and reserve.
  2. Add 1 tbsp bacon fat to the pan and brown the beef over medium heat.  (It doesn’t need to be cooked through) Remove beef with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside.  Pour off drippings.
  3. Add 3 tbsp bacon fat to the pan and saute the onions, celery and carrots over medium heat, stirring twice, until softened, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  4. Pour in the wine/beer, scraping up any browned bits and simmer over medium heat to reduce liquid by almost half, about 7 minutes.
  5. Stir in the Flavor Bomb Paste and cook for a few minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  6. Add the stock, mushrooms, peppers, bay leaves, tomatoes, beans and bacon to the pot. Stir well to combine. Chop the beef into bite-sized pieces and add them and any  drippings to the pot.  The chili will be rather thick at this point.
  7. Put the heat on low, cover, simmer 2 ½ hours. Stir every half hour.
  8. Remove the bay leaves.
  9. Add the lime juice, give it a good stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with your favorite chili toppings.

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