I love Chili con Carne. It’s my kind of comfort food, especially with some sour cream, shredded cheese and a hint of tabasco.
When I do make Chili, I usually make a large pot, and usually for parties. This is the reason the recipe below is for a large portion. What I have done is to write the recipe in a way that should be easy to break down into smaller portions, or expanded. The general portioning is 500g of meat to 1 cans / cups of diced tomatoes, kidney beans, sweet onions, bell peppers.
The one thing to note though, is don’t go for lean meat. The fats in the ground beef will drain off as you cook so you need the extra fat in the ground beef to keep the meat moist and juicy. Reduce the amount of oil that you use during the sweating of the onions to tone the fat content down. This dish needs to stew for many hours to really let all the flavours mesh.
- 1kg ground beef
- 500g ground pork
- 3 cans of diced tomatoes
- Fresh tomatoes, diced (optional)
- 3 cans of kidney beans
- Chopped garlic
- Chopped shallots
- 3 cups of diced sweet onions
- 3 cups of diced green red peppers
- Small can of tomato paste
- Ground thyme
- Ground cumin / cumin seeds
- Chili powder / paprika
- Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Sour cream (optional)
- Ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Ingredients that are cold will not release their full flavour.
- Marinate pork with some thyme; and beef with cumin. Refrain from putting too much dry herbs during the marinate process. Probably about 1 round teaspoon per 500g. You can add more later as well.
- Pour a teaspoon of olive oil in a hot cast iron pot. Do not let the oil start to smoke as that means it is too hot.
- Add the shallots and onions and turn the heat down to medium. Stir the onions slightly and ensure they are spread out in the pot. Let it sweat for a few minutes, stirring it occasionally.
- Add the garlic now.
- When the onions begin to turn translucent, scoop everything on to a plate.
- Turn up the heat and add the beef and pork into the same pot. Break apart all chunks to uniformed, mince-sized bits. I like my chili with a bit of a roasted taste so I like to leave the meat to brown in the pot without stirring too often. However, if you are a bit worried about possibly burning the meat, stir it often.
- While the meat is still browning, around the halfway mark, tip the bell peppers into the pot.
- When the meat is no longer pinkish, add the onions back into the pot. At this time, every time you add something into the pot, you need to stir it to ensure even mixture.
- Add diced fresh tomatoes. (optional)
- Add canned diced tomatoes.
- Add half a can of tomato paste into a little hot water and mix it up well. Then pour it into the pot.
- Add 3 tablespoons of chili powder / paprika. (Adjust to own taste)
- Stir the mixture well and bring it to a boil.
- Once the chili is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low. Leave the pot uncovered.
- Let it simmer for ~3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Every 30 – 45 mins, try the chili for taste. Only start adjusting for taste in the last hour.
- At the last 45 mins, drain the kidney beans and add it to the pot. Mix well.
- 30 – 45 mins after adding the kidney beans, turn off the heat and cover pot.
For serving options, I sometimes eat it plain with some tabasco sauce, or with white rice. It goes really well at parties too, just scoop it up with nachos / tortilla chips. Eat it with sour cream (or greek yogurt for the health conscious) and shredded cheddar cheese. Or you can add it on fries, tacos, pita bread…… The possibilities of chili is endless, which is why I love it!
You can just portion it out in ziploc bags or containers and freeze them. It can last a few days and all you need to do is to warm it up! It actually tastes better the next day!