Thick Smokey Southwest Chili

I wish I had taken some pictures at my Primal cooking class, but I was so enraptured I completely forgot. What I didn’t forget was to bring the recipe home! Michael sat down at the table last night, took one bite of this delicious chili, and said “WOW!” I’ve never made a chili without cumin before, but this has all the kick you need. The class was taught by Chef Tomas Guzman.


5 slices of bacon

A few Tbsp. of coconut oil or olive oil (smoked olive oil even better)

1 diced jalapeno (I took out all the seeds, leave a few in for more heat)

2 small onions or 1 large white onion medium diced

12 ounce bag of baby carrots medium diced

2 tsp. crushed garlic

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

3/4 cup of red wine

1 to 2 tsp of cinnamon (I ended up using 1.5 teaspoons, but I would start with 1 and add on to taste from there)

3 15 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes

2 tsp. of smoked paprika

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar

2 pounds of ground beef

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste (I used regular sea salt, some pink himalayan sea salt, and ground pepper) – Good lesson I learned was to season lightly with salt and pepper at each major step, so note that when I say “season with S&P” I mean to season lightly to taste – you can always add more in the end.

Cheese and Sour Cream for topping optional


In a large pot or dutch oven get bacon cooking. This will be the pot you will cook everything in.

Once bacon is cooked remove from pot and set aside.

Add a little coconut oil or olive oil to bottom of pot along with bacon drippings to form a thin layer on bottom

Toss in carrots and sautee for 3-5 minutes, until shiny

Add in onion and sweat them another 3-5 minutes

Season with S&P

Add in jalapenos, garlic, and tomato paste and sautee for a few more minutes

Add ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink

Season with S&P

Deglaze the pan with wine and bring to a boil. Once boil is achieved add cinnamon, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, and tomatoes to pot.

Season with S&P

Bring to a medium to low simmer and allow to reduce for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally making sure it doesn’t scorch on the bottom.

During the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, chop bacon you set aside and stir into pot, along with the juice of 1 lime. Add any more seasoning if needed.


Add a few toppings if you want! Enjoy!!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebekah
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 16:22:41

    This is on the menu for dinenr tomorrow, which is our beef night for the week.

    Obviously you need to saute the vegetables in a pot, but I wonder if you could throw everything in the slow-cooker after the veg and meat are cooked and the pan is deglazed. This is essentially the method for boeuf bourguinon (the meat is cooked before the veg, but same principle…), and I’m guessing you could cook the chili on low for three hours to the point of simmering (or maybe high?). Would love your thoughts.


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