Spicy Bacon Cowboy Chili Recipe

Yield: 8 Servings
Total Time:
1 hr
Two main factors influence the taste in the chili recipe: the BBQ sauce and the choice of chilies.  We'll usually use our homemade BBQ sauce, but use whichever you're favorite it. For the spice factor, habaneros have a great spicy and flavor.  There is a fruity roundness to compliment their Scoville factor which makes them one of our favorites to use, especially the Chocolate, Congo, or Red Sevilla Habaneros.  Go with something more mild, like a jalapeno or thai chili, or even leave out the chilies all together if that is your preference.  Just drop spicy from the name ;)! If you need a recipe for making fries to make chili fries, we suggest the Les Halles fries.  They rock!
Makes about 4 cups.


  • 2 lbs (910g) Ground Beef , combination of top round and brisket is our favorite
  • 6 strips (300g) Bacon , diced
  • 1 large Sweet Onion , diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic , crushed
  • 1 -2 Habaneros , finely diced
  • 1 cup (237ml) BBQ Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) ground Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) fresh cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup (30g) Masa (corn flour), addition inspired by Pioneer Woman's Chili Recipe
  • 12 oz. (355ml) Beer


  1. Heat a large sauce pan (preferably cast iron) over med-high heat.  Add ground beef and bacon and cook until it is nearly cooked through and browned, stirring occasionally. Next add onion, garlic and habaneros and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until onions start to soften.
  2. Add BBQ sauce, spices, brown sugar, fresh cracked pepper, masa and beer.  Stir to combine, bring to a simmer, then lower heat to keep at a gentle simmer.  Cook for 30 min - 1 hour, (flavors will develop more with the longer cooking time but isn't a requirement) adding more beer or water if necessary to maintain a good "moistness" to the chili.
  3. Serve the chili warm. Serving suggestions - Toppings- cheese, sour cream, diced green onions. As a base or alongside - tortilla chips, crusty bread, in a quesadilla, on fries, over a sausage dog or burger, as a pizza sauce, with pasta... The variations are endless!

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