Cookie’s 4 Bean Chili Con Carne

4-bean_chili_600x600This is one of those recipes that includes everything but the kitchen sink. It’s a recipe of my own creation. I started with Granny’s old-fashioned bean bake and, 20 years later, it now it looks nothing like the original recipe, but I think Granny would be proud. I love all the flavors. I could eat this all day and there have been days where I did just that because after an hour or two in the slow cooker, I couldn’t stand it any longer and had to dive in.

I’ve made this at Boy Scout camp and it has gotten rave reviews from scouts and Scoutmasters. It even took 1st place in a Dutch oven chili cook-off! I usually serve this with my world-famous cornbread; it’s a killer combination. For my killer cornbread recipe, see my blog post “Cookie’s Cornbread.”



12-inch deep Dutch oven

Stirring spoon


Can opener


Cutting board

Measuring spoons and cups



8 slices bacon cooked & diced

2 lbs ground beef, browned

1 diced onion

1 diced red pepper

1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapeños

2 (15 oz.) cans pork and beans with the fat chunks removed

1 (15 oz.) can butter beans, not drained

1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, not drained

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, not drained

1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies

3/4 cup brown sugar

1-4 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons mustard

1/3 cup ketchup

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon salt



Cook the bacon and ground beef (this could be done in camp or at home before you leave; if you do this in camp, have a plan for disposing of the bacon grease). Sauté the onion and red pepper. Add everything else to the pot. I pre-mix my sauce and spices and bring them to camp in a container in my cooler. I bring extra chili powder so I can season to taste in camp.

On a stove, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. In a 12-inch deep Dutch oven, bake 1 hour, using 21 coals on the lid and 11 coals under the oven. In a slow cooker, cook 8 hours on low, but I strongly discourage this one because you have to smell it all day and it will drive you mad. Serves 16-20.

Categories: Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Cookie’s 4 Bean Chili Con Carne

  1. Second recipe of yours I’ve looked at and I’ve got to say I’m really glad I found your site. Cooking in cast iron and dutch ovens have always fascinated me. I think I might try this one on my Big Green Egg until I can get a dutch oven I can make this in. Glad you didn’t call it chili as we all know chili don’t have no beans. 😉

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