Monday, September 26, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

Chili Con Carne

When fall comes around, I get into a chili kind of mood. Hot, spicy chili is perfect for staying warm on cool nights, it's easy to make, it's very tasty, and it's perfectly primal. What is not to love about it?


There are probably thousands of chili recipes out there, many of them are fancy and complicated. It can be made with a wide variety of spices and meats. There are even recipes for fish chili. I like to keep things simple however. This is how I make chili con carne (and how I won the only chili cook-off I've ever entered):

It is important to start with a very large pot. I like to make tons of chili because it is so easy to freeze for later. The best is to use an iron pot, but a large metal pot will work as well.

Ingredients:

3 pounds of ground beef
1 garlic
2 cans of peeled and diced tomatoes
2 or 3 large yellow onions
3 red bell peppers
A variety of fresh peppers to taste
Chili powder
Oil or butter

Optional
Chili powder
2 cans of chili beans

Start by browning the meat in the pan. As the meat is simmering, peel and slice one whole garlic and add it to the pot. If you want to use some chili seasoning mix, add it at this point. Stir until the meat is evenly done.

Peel and dice the onions and add them to the meat. Let the onions simmer with the meat until they start to turn clear. In the mean time, dice the bell pepper and your personal favorite hot peppers. I always use jalapeño and red chilies. I also like my chili very spicy so I use a lot. If you like a milder version use milder peppers and make sure to remove all seeds.

When all the peppers have been sliced and diced, add them to the pot along with the canned tomatoes. Leave the chili to slow boil in the liquid from the tomatoes. If you can tolerate some legumes in your food, add the chili beans at this point. The chili should now have plenty of liquid so leave to to reduce over medium heat.

The secret to this recipe is to let it simmer for a long time. I typically add water several times while the chili is reducing. I also add the chili powder at this point. I want it to slow cook for at least an hour, preferably more. I leave it to simmer until the meat is completely tender and has that finely minced chili con carne texture.

When you are happy with the consistency of your chili, serve it in a bowl and sprinkle it with shredded cheese. Or cut the cheese if you don't eat any dairy, the important part is to eat it smoking hot and let it chase the fall chills away.



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