So I've got a vegan chili I make on a regular basis that I think is pretty darn good, but I'm always looking for ways to make it better. (I'm not actually vegan. Obviously.) Last time I included bacon and bourbon but the effect was... not what I had hoped. The bacon became very soggy and the bacon flavor was non-existent. (So was the bourbon flavor, but that's neither here nor there.)
Here's my current method for the chili in broad strokes (makes about 10 cups):
Saute onions, peppers (as well as the chili peppers), and cumin seeds in some oil until onion is translucent
Dump in beans, tomatoes, liquids (usually beer + veggie broth), and spices
Pressure cook in the instant pot for ~6 mins
Add some tomato paste and then simmer to reduce for 30-60 mins until desired thickness
My first attempt at this was just throwing in 3-4 slices of already-cooked, chopped up bacon in during step 2, but clearly that didn't work so well.
How can I get this to go better so I have a present-but-not-overpowering bacon flavor without gross floppy bits of bacon everywhere?