Now that the NFL season has a couple weeks under its belt, I’m sure there are those hardcore fans already planning their Superbowl parties. For those of you who are unaware, these parties always (well, at least the good ones) contain these three necessities, aside from the football, of course: beer, nachos and chilli. I’d like to take a moment to salute these superfans for allowing me to keep my annual chilli quota covered in a single day. I’d also like to take a moment to thank Beth Tucker for inspiring me to create this dish.

To these superfans, what would you say if I were to combine all three of these things into some magical concoction? Now, what would you say if I were to add bacon, the vegetable from heaven, in a significant quantity? Hold on. Let me go get the mop to clean up the mess because your brain just melted all over the floor. (Do brains really melt?)

No, I’m not messing with you, I’m not yanking your chain and I’m surely not talking smack. These are Beer-Bacon-Chilli-Nachos.

Ingredients:

12 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

½ lb Lean Ground Veal or Beef

1 Small Onion (or half a large one)

1 head Garlic

1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper

1 tbsp Cumin

1 tbsp Smoked Paprika

1 tbsp Chilli Powder

1 can (~14 oz) Diced Tomato

½ cup Tomato puree

1 cup Beer

1 can Red Kidney Beans

1 or 2 bags Your favourite tortilla chips

Shredded Cheddar, Sour Cream, Jalapeño/Pepperoncino to top

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

1. Unlike some of the other recipes I’ve posted here, the prep for this dish is quite short. All you have to do is cut your bacon into small pieces, dice your onion, and mince your garlic. It should take you no longer than a few minutes and even less if you’re handy with a knife.

2. Fry up all of that lovely bacon until it’s nice and crisp. You’ve probably done this a thousand times by now and can do it with your eyes closed. Today, I recommend using a flat bottomed wooden spoon. You’ll see why in a couple of steps.

3. Add your onion and garlic and continue to stir and fry until the onions are soft. This should take another few minutes. At this point, there will probably be a lot of oil at the bottom of your pan. You can pour off a little bit so that your chilli isn’t super oily.

4. Throw in your ground veal or ground beef. With your flat bottomed wooden spoon, break up the ground beef into little pieces and keep stirring so that nothing burns at the bottom of the pan. There will probably be stuff stuck to the bottom, though. Try to scrape this up as much as possible because a lot of flavour lies there.

5. Once the ground beef is pretty much cooked (i.e no more pink) add all of your spices – Cumin, Paprika, Chilli Powder and Cayanne Pepper. Keep stirring so that the beef and bacon is evenly coated. It should look like the meat for a Sloppy Joe sandwich at this point, if you’ve ever made a Sloppy Joe. Hmmm… I think I’m gonna make Sloppy Joes like this from now on!

6. Now we’re going to deglaze the pan. Instead of wine like usual, we’re going to use beer. If you’re cooking this for a football get-together, I’m sure there will be plenty. You only need about a cup – about 2/3 of a bottle or can. You know what to do with the rest of it, I’m sure.

7. Add your diced tomatoes, tomato puree and give everything a good stir. Season with salt and pepper and give it a taste to see if you need any more of your original four spices. If you like things with a bit more kick, hit it with more cayenne.

8. Turn the heat down to medium low and let this simmer for about half an hour, stirring periodically. We want the chilli to be nice and thick, not watery and runny. When the chilli is almost to the consistency you want, add your kidney beans and let those stew for about 10 minutes. During this time, you can shred your cheddar and arrange your tortillas on a plate.

9. Throw your chilli in the middle of your nachos and top with cheddar, sour cream and Jalapeño or Pepperoncini. If you want to make this even better, after you add your cheddar, but before you add the sour cream, throw your nachos under the broiler so that the cheddar melts.

This recipe makes enough chilli to top quite a few nacho platters. There will be definitely enough to last all four quarters, but I’m sure your guests will make it a goal to finish every last bite.