A fun and flavourful family-friendly meal!
Inspired by a recent first in my culinary life – a bacon cheeseburger pizza – this chowder is packed with vegetables which help to make it nutritious and satisfying. It’s delicious on its own but adding the garnishes which are familiar to burger lovers really takes it to the next level. The chowder can be made up to 48 hours ahead of time and refrigerated; reheat gently before serving.
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 lb. (454 g) lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, finely shredded
- 1 large stalk celery, diced
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried basil
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 cups (650 mL) beef broth
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
- Few dashes hot sauce
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) butter
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) milk
- 2 cups (500 mL) shredded old cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) cream cheese
- Yellow or honey mustard, diced tomatoes and chopped dill pickles, to garnish
- In a Dutch oven or large, heavy duty pot, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.
- In the same pot, brown the ground beef in the bacon fat, stirring often to break up clumps, cooking until no traces of pink remain. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a clean bowl and set aside, draining and discarding any liquid in the pot (no need to wipe it clean).
- In the same pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat, then sauté the onion for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for 3 – 5 minutes longer until all vegetables are tender.
- Add the basil, salt, pepper, potatoes, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to the pot; increase heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer 10 – 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, in a small saucepan, melt the butter then add the flour. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes, then gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook until bubbling and thickened then stir in 1 1/2 cups (375mL) of the grated cheddar and the cream cheese. Stir or whisk until cheese has melted completely. Remove from heat.
- When the potatoes are cooked, return the cooked ground beef to the pot along with the cheese sauce. Stir to blend well and let the mixture warm over medium heat until it is just about to boil (3 – 5 minutes). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Ladle chowder into warmed bowls. Garnish with remaining shredded cheddar and reserved bacon bits, plus tomatoes, pickles and an optional drizzle of mustard.