Ultimate, Awesome & Easy Chili con Carne

Sometimes you’re busy, sometimes you don’t feel like cooking or sometimes you want something quick and easy. A comfort dish from your childhood also helps! Once again this past weekend I was called upon to cook-up a comfort dish at Toronto’s Harbourfront, near the skating rink. It’s cold outside and warming dishes is what’s cold for in the Canadian winter.

Chili con Carne suited the task (cooking demo), it was cold and windy out and this easy dish with a little heat was very timely. Chili con Carne means “chillis” or dried smoked peppers with (con) meat or “carne”. You can go all out and choose your favourite dried chilli pepper and make your own chilli powder: there’s dried garlic and onion, cumin, oregano, ground coriander seed, some cayenne and sweet paprika. Chilli powder is a combo of spices (much like a curry) and the flavours and quality of the mixtures can and will vary.

I’m fine with using a pre-made blend from the supermarket and then just adjusting or accenting the ingredients in chilli powder that I want to be more pronounced. I may add a pinch of cumin, some more oregano or ground coriander. It’s up to you as your mood can change and your chilli can vary depending on who you’re making it for. A party with adults may lead you to make a spicy chilli and if you’re making it with kids in mind – something more mellow would be offered.

Chili con Carne is a Tex-Mex dish and forget about calling it “Mexican”. It’s an easy dish where I begin with browning lean ground beef then I add onions, olive oil, red and green peppers, garlic, bay leaves, chilli powder, diced tomatoes, canned kidney beans and my added twist on Chilli, whole chipotle peppers in adobo. Chipotles are Jalapeno peppers that have ripened to a red colour then dried and smoked and finally added into an Adobo sauce. You can buy these small cans in the Mexican or International aisle at your supermarket and Latin grocers will carry an array of Chipotles in Adobo for sure! After I’ll adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and I may add some more accented flavour in any one or more of the chilli powder’s ingredients.

These recipe takes about 40 minutes from start to finish: brown meat, add vegetables, spices and seasoning and simmer until thick. This all-in-one skillet meal can also be adapted to slow cookers: brown all the meat and add all the ingredients into a slow cooker and simmer for about 3 hours. A lot of new slow cookers now come with timers but even if you have an old one, simply attach one of those household timers to your cooker’s plug and set the time for when you want the cooker to turn on and when to shut off!

I like Chili with a side of garlic bread or corn bread and some grated cheese on top. You like the cheese to slightly melt in the hot Chilli or place it under the broiler until hot & gooey? Your choice!

Chili con Carne

(serves 4-6)

¼ cup. of extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. of lean ground beef
1 large onion, rough diced

1/2 green bell pepper, rough dice

1/2 red bell pepper, rough dice

3 large cloves of garlic, smashed
1 – 796ml can of diced  tomatoes

2 Tbsp. of chili powder

1 bay leaf

½  tsp. of ground cumin

½  tsp. of ground coriander

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 – 16oz cans of kidney beans
(plus liquid)
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (according to taste)

 

  1. In a large skillet, add your oil and set the heat to high and brown the meat and add some salt and pepper.
  2. Add your onions, garlic, bay leaf, peppers and saute under medium heat for about 10 minutes to soften. Add your diced/chopped cans of tomatoes, the beef, chili powder, kidney beans, oregano, coriander and chipotle peppers.
  3. Simmer for approx. 30-40 minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked and the chili is thick. Check the seasoning and adjust seasoning with salt. Serve with some corn bread and stay warm with this very comforting meal.


© 2011,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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28 Comments for “Ultimate, Awesome & Easy Chili con Carne”

Kalyn

says:

Looks delicious. I’m not a fan of the state of Texas (yes, a man is involved in this dislike of an entire state, but that’s an old story.)
I do love Lisa (Homesick Texan) and her blog though! And I like Chili and your version looks great.

Cooking and the City

says:

Wow that looks so good. its summer here in Aus but I could eat a bowl of chilli after seeing your delicious recipe!

Bellini Valli

says:

Sounds delicious with the smoky flavours of the chipotles.My slow cooker languishes in my cupboard. Certain things like ribs, chilies and stews come out perfectly in them.

maybahay

says:

yum, will definitely try this for a cold, rainy night. love hot food and this version of chili sounds superb. will just have to find an equivalent of chipotle in adobo.

Terry

says:

I’m from El Paso, Texas and have been following this blog for quite some time. I especially appreciated the comments about Turkey, a place I dearly love.

At any rate, Peter, do your chili (not a bad version by the way) a favor or if you would a flavor and switch to one can of kidney and one can of PINTO or what we call ranch beans. The pinto is a much smaller and softer bean than the kidney.

As I’m originally from the midwest I can appreciate the kidney beans but down here in some parts of Texas they may just hang you for even mentioning putting beans into chili. These folks are serious!

Núria

says:

Hola Peter,
Now I know why it took you so long to post… slow cooking… but so worth waiting.
It looks great!
Is this crockpot like a thermomix?
Thanks.

Peter M

says:

Terry, thanks for your comments and following the blog, I enjoy the food and sharing it.

As for Texas chili, I was fully aware that no beans are used in the Texan version. I used the steak as an “ode to Texas” and the beans, well…I like them too much to omit them.

As for Texans being serious…how serious can they be when they bring us George Dubya?

Happy cook

says:

I have never had them, but i have a sis in US and she says they are just delicious. Your chillie looks delicious. I love spicy so i am sure i would love this

winedeb

says:

Still catching up on your site from my snowy trip up north. This chili looks great! I am a big chili fan!

says:

Now you’ve made me hungry! Love the pictures and I really like the falling snow on here!!! A very Happy Christmas to you Peter x

says:

Chili is like a fingerprint – no two are alike and we each have our own unique take on it. Your use of chipotle is what makes this one such a winner to me. I LOVE chipote anything.

I’ve been making chili lately by reconstituting dried chili peppers and making a hella-hot puree out of them to add to my onions, hot peppers, tomatoes, turkey (because of the hubs), chili powder and oregano. Takes that kick up a notch – but that takes someone who really likes spice. I do get requests to tone the whole thing down a bit.

Amy

says:

I had all of the ingredients for this sitting around and was in a slump for dinner, and decided to make this tonight. I love a beany, spicy chili, and wow, this is Seriously spicy. I’m coming off a flu, so I think my palate is a bit messed up, but this blew my face off. Really good though! Just had to be a heathen and mix in some sour cream. I’ll definitely keep this recipe around to make again. Thanks!

Andreas

says:

Hi Peter
Love the site and the chili recipe post is perfect timing as the temperature dips. Made your chili last night and it was very popular. I did use a chili powder that I got from an Indian grocery up here in Markham, and it was labelled “Very Hot Chili.” Just in case, I used about half the amount and it was already pretty hot.

Any ideas for using the rest of the chipotles? I like mash one up with a little of the sauce, some mayo, sour cream and a squeeze of lime to make a nice spicy mayo.

Cheers and keep up the good work!

says:

Thanks for your comment Andrea, glad you enjoyed the recipe! The chili powder at Indian stores will be different from the one at regular stores…that’s the one you want to get next time. As for the remaining Chipotles, place in a plastic tub and store in your fridge…they last a couple of months. Your idea to make a mayo is a good one…with some sweet potato fries? Yum!

says:

Mmm! Looks a lot like our chili. Chris hates it when he makes chili and then when he goes to sit down in the living room I hover over the pot, tasting it and adding a pinch of this or a dash of that! I’m not allowed to touch his beef stew since he likes it the way it is and he knows it’ll be “better” if I get my hands on it, and he wants to have one or two things in our repertoire that are “his”. Anyhow, I like to add some powdered chipotle or a few dashes of Chipotle Tabasco, which are a great way to add smokey flavour to something without committing to a can of chipotles in adobo, or if you want something to have that smokiness without upping the heat level too much.

I love to make mine nice and thick, cover it in cheddar, then eat it with tortilla chips! I think that’s the best way to eat hummus too (with tortilla chips, not cheese!), but then maybe I’m just “special”!