Chili Con CarneJanuary 4, 2016 By Cathy — 6 Comments
Chili con carne is spicy and satisfying comfort food for a winter weekend.
Happy New Year! We did it. Made it through another year. And is it me, or are the years zooming by at warp speed? I swear it was just a minute ago that we got the star situated on top of the tree without it looking lopsided, and now I’m packing it away in a box until next year.
But with the end of the old, comes the excitement of the new. I’m feeling invigorated and ready to make 2016 the best year yet. And to do that, a little sustenance is required and boy do I have the meal for you. Rib-sticking, fiery and nourishing food for your soul…chili con carne.
Chili was one of the first meals I learned to cook as a girl. We weren’t particularly adventurous eaters in my family and we typically stuck to either your basic American fare or Italian. But every now and then we’d bust out the Joy of Cooking and tackle something new. One day we dogeared the page for chili con carne and got to work. Chili con carne means simply ‘chili with meat’ and there are countless variations based on taste and geography. My preference is a meaty, beany chili with a rich tomato base and some kick; loosely inspired by that Joy of Cooking recipe, but developed and fine-tuned over decades.
I know we’ve all made resolutions to eat only salads in between twice daily trips to the gym, so maybe plan this for your weekend meal when a little splurge is in order. Picture this: the post-holiday back to work/school week is behind you, there’s a crackling fire in the fireplace and a piping hot bowl of chili on your lap. No need for the dinner table, just a spoon and napkin and you can kick back and enjoy your dinner with your feet up. Throw in a bottle of beer and a hunk of skillet cornbread and you’re really living. After all, it’s called comfort food for a reason.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds ground beef, (80:20 meat-to-fat ratio)
- 2 - 28 oz cans crushed tomato
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 - 4.5 oz minced green chiles
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely minced
- 1 -12 oz bottle of beer (I like a pale ale or stout for deeper flavor)
- 3 - 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- ½ lime
- *shredded cheddar, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro and sour cream for topping
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven until hot.
- Add peppers and saute until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
- Add onion and continue to cook 4-6 minutes or until softened and golden.
- Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Crumble in ground beef and cook until browned, 4-5 minutes.
- Carefully drain off about half the fat, then add the crushed tomatoes and stir well.
- Add the spices. sugar, salt and pepper and stir well.
- Stir in the chiles, chipotle pepper and bottle of beer.
- Simmer covered, for at 20 minutes.
- Uncover and add beans and cook an additional 20 minutes. The chili should reduce a bit and have a nice thick consistency.
- Stir in cilantro and squeeze in the juice from half of a lime.
- Spoon into a bowl and sprinkle with garnishes if desired.