The Neeley’s Chili Recipe

I found this recipe on and it looked absolutely delicious. More than that, it was 5-star rated by a gazillion reviewers, which is always an excellent sign. So this made it onto the list of chili trials as #2. I’ll paste the ingredients for your perusal. For full details on how to put them together, click the link above to check it out right on their site.

No pictures this time… I seem to have lost Dustin’s camera. Oops.

Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili


  • 6 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup beer (recommended: Budweiser)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (24-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (24-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Shredded Cheddar, for garnish
  • Sliced scallions, for garnish

I first got suspicious when  no where in the directions was I asked to drain the grease from the six strips of bacon or 85% lean (read 15% fatty) ground beef. But this experiment is all about following directions, so I went with it. Having all that fat in there and browing the meats *among* the vegetables (instead of on their own) caused a sort of amazing meat-melting thing to happen. The meat disolved into very small bits without even much prodding from my spoon. I personally like my meat in very small bits, so that was a good thing.

The next suspicious thing was the quantity of spices. This recipe, which is at least double the volume of my brother’s turkey recipe, called for the same quantity of spices. Sure enough – they had to be significantly increased. I probably doubled them, though I lost track because I gave up on measuring the extras I added.

We also didn’t use Bud for the beer because, uh, we don’t drink that stuff. All I could find, in fact, was a porter. So, not exactly an equivalent, but how much difference could that have made?

The end result was disappointing. Perhaps it’s because I had such high hopes. Bacon! Pork! Beer! But what I got was a sloppy, *very* meaty chili that had no real defining flavors. Even with all the extra spices, it was bland. It felt heavy going down and did not leave me with any desire for seconds. Could I blame the beer substitution? Is my taste for spices out of control? I don’t know. In any case, this was not the chili for me.

Deliciousness: 1
Beauty: 3
Idiot-Proof: 3
Dirty Dishes: 3

Total Score: 2.5


One thought on “The Neeley’s Chili Recipe

  1. Cooked this for 2013 football season, so good that it was gone by the end of several games. Killer chow, not for vegetarians or someone close to that. Do this for people that need a meal and your done.

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