Spencer’s Texas Style Chili

This was superb. Cooked 3.5 lbs of meat and six guys finished it all in one sitting

I really wanted to make a chili this week for Sunday’s football games. The great thing about a slow cooker is that you can just toss in any ingredients that you think will go together and it will normally come out well. I decided I’d look at a few different chili recipes and come up with my own take. The only requirements I gave myself was that it had to have (1) bacon and (2) no beans.

I prefer a Texas style chili (no beans) because you’re basically just seasoning the heck out of the meat and beans often obscure the meat flavor in chili. I don’t want to toot my own horn (okay, maybe I do) but this chili was a real success. I think I can say that it was the best I’d ever had and my taste testers (Tom, Max, Jake, Andrew, and Miles) thought so too. Without further ado…

Ingredients (cost: $30, servings: 8)

  • 3 lbs of ground beef
  • 1/2 lb of bacon (sliced)
  • 1 white onion (chopped)
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 big or 4 small jalapeños (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • black pepper/salt
  • A splash of beer (I used Anchor Steam out of SF)


  1. Brown 1/2 the meat with 1/2 of the chopped onion, toss in 1/2 of the garlic with a few minutes left. When there’s no pink color left in the meat, drain the grease and fat and throw the meat/onions into the slow cooker. You can do this all at once if you have a big enough pan to hold 3 lbs of meat.
  2. Repeat step (1) with the rest of the meat, onion and garlic.
  3. Cook the 1/2 lb of bacon. A 1/2 lb of bacon is about 7 deli slices. Remove the bacon strips, cut them into 1/2 inch pieces and throw them into the slow cooker. You can also cook the bacon first and then cook the beef in the bacon grease if you’d like.
  4. Chop up your jalapeños and cook them for a few minutes so that they’re not raw when you throw them into the slow cooker.
  5. Add your diced tomatoes, tomato paste, your spices and a splash of beer to your slow cooker. Give it a stir to mix all the ingredients together.
  6. Set your slow cooker to Low and cook for 7–8 hours.

For toppings, I suggest: chopped onions, cheddar cheese, sour cream and small crackers.

Like what you read? Give SlowCookable a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.