Spicy Smokehouse Chili with Bacon-Cheddar Cornmeal Dumplings

"With this recipe, I wanted to create a chili that would incorporate all the flavors of my favorite smokehouse meats (all pork, all the time!). I used Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon to deglaze the pan, and was SO HAPPY with the flavor that in added to the final chili. One of my favorite items to eat with chili is cornbread, but I wanted to elevate it, so I added some cheese and bacon (another smokehouse staple) to the batter and made drop dumplings. The final chili got all thumbs up from my family!"

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes

Paired With

Main Protein



Non-stick cooking spray spray, 1 large, 1 (14-oz.) package, 1 (7-oz.), 2 teaspoons, 2/3 cup, 2 (14.5-oz) cans, 2 (15.5-oz) cans, 3 cups, 2 teaspoons, 1 (6-oz.) package, 3/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup
onion, chopped
smoked sausage, chopped
hickory smoked ham steak, chopped
garlic, minced
Black Box® Cabernet Sauvignon
fire-roasted diced tomatoes
great northern beans, drained
refrigerated pulled pork in barbeque sauce, coarsely chopped
chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
buttermilk cornbread mix
cheddar cheese, shredded
cooked bacon, finely chopped


Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray and preheat to medium. Add onions, sausage, ham, and garlic; cook 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly, until onions are translucent and meats are browned around the edges. Add Black Box® Cabernet Sauvignon to pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze (this will add amazing flavor to the finished chili).

Add tomatoes, beans, pork, and peppers to pan. Stir well and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a medium-low simmer and cook, stirring well, while you prepare the dumpling batter.

While chili is simmering, combine cornbread mix, buttermilk, cheese, and bacon in a medium bowl. Drop mixture by Tablespoonfuls evenly over the top of the simmering chili. Cover saucepan and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the dumplings comes out clean. Do not lift the cover on the pan while the dumplings are cooking.

To serve, ladle chili with 1-3 dumplings into individual serving bowls. Makes 6-8 servings.