Chili Con Carne – Where it all begins

Chili con Carne

If there’s one recipe that I has been requested of me the most through the years, it’s my chili.

The grand irony of this is that I’m not a spicy-food gal… at all. Black pepper is living on the edge, thanks to my pesky Anglo/Irish tastebuds. So, to have a dish that’s known for pushing the boundaries of heat be the one I’m most known for is flirting with the realms of the absurd, but I go with it.

Chili 3My chili recipe isn’t earth shattering, it doesn’t use any fancy cuts of meat, butchered just so. It doesn’t require exotic peppers, chili, or spices that can only be found in some remote region of Mexico. It’s just a good, solid, basic chili that satisfies the belly on a cold winter evening.

Of course, as with any recipe worth their salt, this one is open to interpretation, experimentation, and making it ones own. I’m not precious about it. I hope if you try it you feel inspired to give it your own flair and flavors. Add more chili powder, incorporate some veggies, use a meat other than beef. Go crazy!

But, I hope you do try this tried and true basic for starters. Odds are you have most of the ingredients on hand, and it’s super economical. It’s a recipe that’s easy to double for a big family or party (Super Bowl, anyone?), and even without doubling it I usually have leftovers for me and my roomie for days!

No big bells and whistles, but if you’ve never made chili before it’s easy, tasty, and will fill your tum tum.

Happy eating!

Kate xoxo

Chili Con Carne Chili 6


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp red tabasco sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes – basil, garlic and & oregano flavored, undrained
  • 1 can red kidney beans, light or dark, drained
  • grated cheese, optional
  • sour cream, optional
  1. Brown ground beef in large pot with the chopped onions and crushed garlic. Most recipes will say to drain the ground beef, but I don’t. Fat = flavor in chili, and it won’t be greasy in the end, even with 20/80 ground beef, I promise.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except the beans and give it a good stir, making sure to break up the tomatoes as much as you can. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to mid-low. Cover and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. After an hour give it a try and adjust seasoning to taste. Add more of any of the spices to your preference.
  3. Add the drained beans and heat again to boiling. Lower heat again to mid-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chili is desired consistency.
  4. Serve in a bowl and top with grated cheese and sour cream.

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