Chipotle Bacon Brisket Chili Recipe

This is not a sponsored post. Melissa’s Produce sent me their Steamed Red Kidney Beans for recipe testing. Precooked, with a super smooth texture, they’re a delicious addition to this chili.  All opinions are my own, and as always, I only work with products I like and want to share with my readers.

Chocolate Chipotle Smoky Bacon Brisket Chili Recipe “When you’re cooking, be sure to touch your ingredients, your equipment — everything — with feeling. With love. With heart and soul. You will taste this affection in the food. It’s the difference between good and amazing.”  This is one of the many things Roy Choi said today when I watched his cooking demo at the LA Times-The Taste. (In case you don’t know him — and you’ll want to — read about him here.) Chocolate Chipotle Smoky Bacon Brisket Chili RecipeI love making recipes likes this chili — layers and layers of flavors, each one building upon the last. The flavors are deep and complex . . . and when they’re combined, they are exquisite. This is certainly one made with my love, heart and soul. It’s for my family, after all. And you can taste it! Chocolate Chipotle Smoky Bacon Brisket Chili RecipeThis is an an ideal fall and winter comfort food, so keep the recipe close as the days cool down. And make it with love! 🙂 Chocolate Chipotle Smoky Bacon Brisket Chili Recipe

Chipotle Bacon Brisket Chili Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Please note that the active work time for this recipe is 45 minutes, the remainder of the time is for the brisket to slowly cook -- and this can be done a day ahead of time.
Serves: Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 (approximately 2-pound) brisket
  • 6 strips applewood smoked bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups small dice yellow/brown onion
  • 2 tablespoons crushed and roughly chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeño pepper
  • 2½ tablespoons roughly chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon each: ground cumin and chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2¼-pounds vine-ripened tomatoes
  • ½ cup dry red wine (such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz)
  • 3 ears fresh corn
  • 3 (9-ounce) packages Melissa's Produce Steamed Red Kidney Beans
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional garnishes: sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, finely chopped red onion, and fresh oregano leaves
  1. To prepare the brisket: Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F, and lightly coat your largest oven safe skillet (cast iron is perfect) with olive oil. (See notes) Season both sides of the meat generously with salt and pepper, and then place it -- fat side up -- in the pan, and cover it with a fitted lid or heavy-duty foil. Place it in the preheated oven for 6 hours. Remove the brisket from the oven, and place it on a large plate. (Leave any grease and juices in the pan!) Let the brisket cool slightly, and then use the back of a knife or a spoon to gently scrape off the fat and discard it. Now either shred the meat with your fingers, or cut it into slices -- against the grain, and then into bite-sized pieces. (The bite-sized pieces will ultimately shred later in the recipe.) Set aside. * YOU CAN DO THIS ENTIRE STEP THE DAY BEFORE -- JUST DON'T WASH THE PAN IF YOU DO. COVER IT WITH FOIL, KEEPING IT AS IS.*
  2. Place the unwashed pan over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Stirring occasionally, cook until golden and mostly crispy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeños, still stirring from time to time, cook until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, fresh oregano, dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon. Cook until this is very aromatic, about 2 minutes. Season lightly with salt and then turn the heat to the lowest setting.
  5. Either crush the tomatoes in a blender, or roughly chop them until they're a coarse purée. Add this to the pan, along with the wine, turn the heat back up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and let this simmer for at least 15 minutes -- the alcohol should be cooked off and the liquid should be beginning to thicken.
  6. Cut the kernels off the ears of corn and add them to the pan with the kidney beans, and the prepared brisket.
  7. Keeping the heat low, let all of the flavors marry for another 20 minutes or so.
  8. Mix in the chocolate and let it melt. Then season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with any of the desired garnishes. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)
My cast iron skillet is very large and I can make this entire recipe in it, from start to finish. If that's not the case for you, simply change to a larger pan when you need to -- ideally after the tomatoes and wine have simmered.
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  1. says

    I love the mole aspect of this chili! Brisket makes the best chili – used so much for that here in Arizona. The layers of love and flavor you have added make this darned appealing, even in the hot summer days!

    • valentina says

      Thanks, David. I know, it’s still super hot here also (though cooler, I’m sure). I can’t wait until it’s cool enough for this sort of food every night. My favorite! xo Valentina

    • valentina says

      Hi there. Oh I so hope I’m not too late and so sorry about the missing step! You’ll see that step 6 has been edited — that’s where you add the prepared brisket. I hope all went well and that it was delicious!

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