Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chili Con Carne

This has to be the most delicious chili I’ve ever eaten. Not that I’ve tried a lot of different chilies. Still. I’m sure that if I did try many different kinds, this would rank as one of the best.

Chili Con Carne
Yields: 8 to 12 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours


2 to 3 pounds lean ground beef
1 or 2 large chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried ground cumin or to taste
1 tablespoon dried oregano or to taste
2 tablespoons chili powder or to taste (fresh chile peppers may be substituted)
Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
3 to 4 cups tomato puree, tomato sauce, or fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or a combination of all three)
2 to 3 (14 1/2 ounce) cans beef broth*
1 to 2 tablespoons molasses**
2 cans black beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Chopped green onions

* Red wine or water may be substituted for some of the liquid.
** Molasses helps cut down the acidity of the tomatoes. Honey may also be used.


In a large soup pot or cast-iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauté ground beef, onion, and garlic until the meat becomes gray in color. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and beef broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, approximately 3 to 4 hours, stirring often.

(Note: Additional beef broth, water, or wine may be added as needed.)

Add molasses to taste to cut down the acidity of the tomatoes. Add beans and continue to simmer another 30 minutes.

(Note: During the last 30 minutes of cooking, do a lot of tasting and adjust seasoning to taste.)

For maximum flavor, cool chili and refrigerate overnight so flavors will mellow as chili is best made 1 day ahead to allow the flavors time to marry.

When ready to serve, remove top layer of solidified fat, reheat chili over low heat, and serve in large individual bowls.

Set out garnishes for your chili - some chopped green onions, sour cream and shredded sharp cheddar cheese make great toppings.

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

Chili Making Hints and Tips:

Chili that is too salty can be saved by boiling a peeled potato in the pot of chili (the potato will absorb a lot of the salt).

Toss a grating of bitter chocolate into chili to give it body and mellow the flavors.

If your chili comes out too thin, either:

- Continue to simmer the chili longer until more liquid is reduced.

- Add some instant mashed potatoes.

- Add some yellow corn flour. This will also help absorb salt. Simply make a corn flour and water slurry, and add it in until the chili reaches the consistency is you want.

- Masa Harina is another thickener that works very well in chili. It will add a slightly sweet hint to the chili, but it makes the consistency very nice.

Source for recipe and chili photo can be found here.


  1. This recipe is very similar to my chilli recipe - except for the beef broth and molasses. I swear by cumin in my chilli

  2. Cumin does seem to work wonders with this. A very tasty, filling meal.