When people mention Chili Con Carne, they often think of chili made with ground beef. I prefer to use chunks of beef instead – a better texture to the dish and, of course, a much meatier dish that provides one satisfying spoonful after another.
Chili can also divide towns and communities as they argue over flavourings, garnishes and ingredients. My recipe is a simple Chili Con Carne recipe that serves as a template for you to create a chili you can be proud of. There is no real need to buy the most expensive cut of beef for this as the braising will ensure that the beef comes out as tender as you like!
Chili Con Carne
Yield 4 Servings
- 3 slices of bacon, chopped
- 600g beef steak, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 800g crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups beef stock
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can sweet corn
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Hot sauce, such as Tabasco sauce (optional)
- Grated Monterey Jack cheese for serving
- Chives for serving
- In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over high heat until crisp and then transfer to a plate.
- Add the beef cubes in batches and sear before transferring to a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef. The base of the pot should be turning brown (the 'fond') - try not to scrape it up yet.
- Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot and then reduce heat to medium. If there is not enough fat add enough vegetable oil.
- Cook the onions in the pot until they are translucent. Sprinkle some salt on the onions as they cook. Add the peppers and cook until just soft.
- Make a small space in the pot and cook garlic for 30 secs. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, cumin and remaining salt and cook for a further 30 secs. Add the tomatoes and scrape the brown bits from the bottom ('fond'). Bring to a boil.
- Add the beef stock, beef cubes and bacon. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for at least 30 mins and up to 1 hour depending on the cut of beef and how tender you want the meat.
- Add the beans, corn and Worcestershire sauce. Add as much hot sauce as you dare! Simmer for 5 mins stirring occasionally. Taste the chili and season with salt as necessary.
- Serve in bowls with a generous amount of grated cheese and garnish with chopped chives. Serve with plain steamed rice or tortilla chips.
The recipe works just as well with ground beef if you prefer. Just simmer for 30 mins only.
Use good quality canned crushed tomatoes. I prefer Italian tomatoes for their acidity.
Serving Size 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 15 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Unsaturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 20 mg
Sodium 2508 mg
Total Carbohydrates 70 g
Dietary Fiber 16 g
Sugars 17 g
Protein 55 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.