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Trey's Chili

From Michael Lee West, Consuming Passions

Serves: 6-8


  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. olive oil plus 1 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 1.5 lbs. ground round
  • 1 lb. sirloin streak, cut in 1-inch slabs
  • 1 jar (26 oz.) roasted garlic and sun dried tomato sauce
  • 1 jar (26 oz.) vidalia onion and fire roasted peppers sauce
  • 2 cans (28 oz. each) diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tbs. chili powder
  • 1/4 c. tequila
  • 2 cans (30 oz. each) chili beans, rinsed


  1. Wash and prepare vegetables.
  2. In large skillet, fry bacon over medium-high heat. Remove with slotted spoon. Crumble and reserve.
  3. Add olive oil and butter to bacon drippings. Sautee vegetables. When onions are translucent, add ground round and sirloin, and brown meat. Remove meat and vegetables with slotted spoon, draining as much fat as possible.
  4. In large, heavy pot, put pasta sauces, tomatoes, tomato paste, paprika, chili powder, tequila. Add meat (including bacon), vegetables, and beans. Add 1 can (30 oz.) water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer three hours.


  • I made this when Mom was in the hospital, a couple of days before she passed away. I had never made chili, but was reading West's book, and this seemed to qualify as a big pot of warm food. It was good, but will need some fiddling before it matches my taste.
  • Recipe has several vague measurements (e.g., 1 jar, 3 cans), replaced above with what I actually used. Matching the sauces was impossible: I used two jars of pasta sauce (above), and cut the tomatoes down from three cans to two -- the results were not short of tomatoes.
  • Recipe did not use the bacon (just the bacon fat).
  • Only problem was using the canned, precooked chili beans, which came out mushy. Next time I'll try it with dried pinto beans, soak, and adjust the cooking time.

Keywords: American, Beans, Chili.