Doc Sammy’s Three-Meat, Three-Bean and Molasses Crock-Pot Chili

Oh, yum. I’ve been working on this recipe for awhile now. I hope you enjoy it.

Prep time is about 45 minutes, then four or five hours in the crock pot.


  • Ground beef: 1 1/2 pounds
  • Chorizo (beef or pork): 1 1/2 pounds
  • Premium bacon: 8 strips
  • Green bell peppers: 2 large
  • Onion, yellow: 1 large
  • Tomatoes (diced): 2 28-oz cans
  • Beans, kidney: 15-oz can
  • Beans, pinto: 15-oz can
  • Beans, black: 15-oz can
  • Corn, frozen: 10 oz
  • Beef broth: ~8-12 oz
  • Salt: 1 tblsp
  • Black pepper: 1 tsp
  • Cayenne: 2 tblsp
  • Oregano: 1 tsp
  • Cumin: 3 tsp
  • Ancho chili power: 2 tsp
  • Coriander: 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon: 1 tsp
  • Garlic, minced: 1 tblsp
  • Grandma’s sorghum molasses: 1 cup


1: Pour tomatoes in large crock pot and turn on high.

2: Cut green peppers into strips and chop onion. Set aside.

3: In large frying pan, fry bacon until it’s done but not yet crispy. Remove from pan, leaving as much of the grease as possible. Put bacon on some paper towels to drain and cool.

4: Put chorizo into frying pan and cook until thoroughly browned. Remove from pan, against leaving as much of the juice as possible, and put into crock pot. (I prefer beef chorizo, but pork works great, too.)

5: Put garlic into frying pan and then add the beef cubes. Brown in the remaining grease. Again, remove the meat and place in crock pot, being careful to leave as much grease as possible. (Beginning to detect a theme here?)

6: Put onions and peppers in frying pan and saute for three or four minutes – ideally until the onions are cooked down a bit but the peppers still look fairly crisp. Dump everything into crock pot. (Yes, everything – you can stop worrying about leaving the grease in the pan now.)

7: Now that bacon has cooled, cut it into roughly 1-inch squares.

8: If your house is like mine, there has been a dog in the kitchen ever since you opened the first pack of meat. Give dog a small piece of bacon and some ear scritches. Add the rest of the bacon to the crock pot.

9: Add the molasses and all of the spices. Pour beef broth into crock pot until the liquid level comes almost to the top of the meat and vegetables. Stir thoroughly.

10: Cover and cook on high until you can see the liquid bubbling/boiling. Reduce to low, cook for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.

11: With about an hour remaining, drain the beans and add them, along with the corn.

Serve with tortillas, add shredded cheeze and/or sour cream if you like.

And by all means, let me know in the comments below what you thought of it. If you have suggested improvements, I’d love to hear them. I’m a guy who loves chili, but I’m hardly a chef, so anything that helps me become a better cook is welcomed.

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13 replies »

  1. This is conceptually intriguing enough that I’m going to give it a try. Fortunately, I’ll be able to follow step #8, giving the dog a small piece of bacon and a couple ear scritches, to the letter. I’ll let you know if any ptomaine has befallen us afterwards.

  2. Made this on Sunday. Delicious! I do have to cut back on the cayenne though. overall i give it a 4 out of 5!

    • Glad you liked it. I suspect that pepper content is going to be the first thing people tamper with in their own kitchens. It’s about right for me, although I know people who’d quadruple the cayenne and still not be happy. And for others it might bite a little hard.

      Some might play with the molasses content, too.

  3. Canned beans? *Seriously?* And…KIDNEY BEANS???? WTF?

    Dude, they run your sorry ass right outta Texas if you put kidney beans in chili.

    The only decent bean for chili is a pinto, preferably cooked at home. Either soak them in cold water 3-4 hours (overnight is better) or add 1 teaspoon baking soda per cup of dry beans to stave off a later infestation of barking spiders. Then: put in a pot with 1/2 diced white onion per cup of dry beans, a bay leaf, and a bit of bacon. Add water (I also add a box of chicken stock) until it’s about 1.5 inches over the level of the beans. Cook 3-4 hours on low until cooked, checking every 45 mins or so to see if you need to add more liquid. Do not add the beans to the chili until they’re completely cooked through: the tomatoes do something evil to the beans that basically stops their cooking in its tracks.

    It’s worth just cooking the whole damn 1- or 2-lb pound bag of beans. What you don’t put into the chili can be eaten on its own, cooked up with ham into soup, or thrown into a pan of oil and refried. (Use about 3/8″ of oil in a frying pan. Mash with a potato masher. Add butter or cheese to make the flavor richer. This is one of the best cheap thrills to be found in a kitchen.)

    This recipe actually looks a lot like my mama’s (and, thus, mine), except for the corn and the molasses. The cinnamon-cumin-coriander trio is indeed magical, and the molasses are intriguing — reminds me a bit of Cincinnati sweet chili (which also includes chocolate).

      • Keep flattering me like that, and I might actually be inspired to make turkey instead of reservations for Thanksgiving dinner. Either way: you’re expected at our table.

        • That, btw, is an old extended family thing. My ex’s brother-in-law’s family always does prime rib for the holidays. I was never certain why, but I always suggested we start doing that to my ex. Kind of a running gag and this year you get to be the extended family, I guess.

          The Xmas running gag was far better, though.

        • In our family, it’s turkey (smoked outside over hickory and bourbon on the Weber, if we’re eating at home) at Thanksgiving, followed by prime rib at Christmas (because it’s just too damned soon to do another turkey again). Evan makes the popovers.

          Unfortunately, we’re out of town for Christmas this year.