Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chili con Carne

Today was a cooler day and it got more chilly later when the sun sets, so I made a big pot ofChili con Carne to warm up ^.^

Here's my recipe for Chili con Carne.

- Ground beef, though I prefer ground pork because it gives the chili a sweeter taste, 3/4 lb.
- Bell pepper, I prefer red for the coloring but green works too, 1 large
- Onion, again I prefer red for the sweeter taste but white works just fine, 2 large, diced
- Tomatoes, 12-15 fresh chopped, or 3-4 cans. If you use fresh tomatoes, I recommend picking tomatoes on the vine and clean one to drop in with the chili later.
- Garlic, 2-3 large cloves, chopped
- Kidney beans, I prefer dark red, 1 can, rinsed
- Lime or lemon, 1 slice. If the fresh fruit is not available, use the concentrated juice with a light hand.
- Optional: black beans, 1 can, rinsed. I like my chili less "beany," so I usually only add the 1 can of red kidney beans.
- Optional: fresh jalapeno pepper, 2-3, or habanero pepper, 1-2, chopped, or crushed red chili peppers, 1 teaspoon. Yes, I like my chili spiiiiicy.
- Optional: salsa, I recommend Jack's Special Salsa, 1 container

- Salt, 1/3-1 teaspoon, to taste. Again you're making several meals' worth of chili.
- Dark brown sugar, 1-2 teaspoons. If you're using fresh tomatoes, use less brown sugar because the fresh tomatoes are already sweet.
- Dark chili powder, generous sprinkles. I don't really measure how much I put in, I just gauze at the coloring and fragrance.
- Cumin powder, generous sprinkles. Since cumin is strong, I tend to use much less cumin than chili powder.
- Black pepper, several sprinkles.
- Optional: Paprika, several sprinkles. When I don't have dark chili powder, I use paprika to supplement the coloring.
- Optional: 1/3-1/2 packet of Taco seasoning. This is sort of cheating, but it will do wonders to your pot of chili, so don't turn your nose up (...yet) and try it.

- Brown the ground beef/pork in a skillet, drain the greasy run-offs and transfer to clean bowl.
- Add 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a pot, quickly brown the garlic.
- Throw in the onions and bell peppers, cook for a few minutes.
- Add the browned meat, and before mixing season the meat with salt, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, paprika and Taco seasoning (if use). Mix well.
- Add the chopped or canned tomatoes and cleaned tomato vine. Mix well.
- Add the beans last because all the mixing previously will crush them. Mix slightly not to crush the beans.
- Cook for at least 1 hour, or at least twice as long if you use fresh tomatoes. Stir occasionally and be careful not to crush the beans.
- If you are planning to add the 1 container of salsa, do so 30 minutes before serving the chili.
- Right before serving, squeeze in the lime/lemon or sprinkle in the concentrated juice into the pot and stir quickly.
- Serve with tortillas or bread.

Of course we have tons of chili leftovers since I made a huge pot. Guess what I'll be using it for - chili dogs *drools* ^.^

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