I’ve made various short-cut variations of chili over the years, always in a frying pan, always just enough for two and always with a minimum of fuss. I wanted to make a bit ‘ol pot of the stuff so we could eat our way through it for as long as we could bear.
Chili con carne literally translates to “chili with meat”. You know, carne, as in carnivore. Looking online, there are many variations and I was quite surprised that beans in chili is not regarded as authentic. Chili always appears with beans around here and I’ve never had chili without beans. It seems that in poorer areas, beans were added to make the dish go further and it became more common. A chili purist’s proverb goes “If you know beans about chili, you know chili ain’t got no beans”.
My chili is mild and includes beans. Add more hot sauce or chili if you prefer something with more kick.
A Big Pot of Chili
Makes about 3 litres or 12 cups. A serving is somewhere between 1 and 2 cups depending on the person.
1 kilo beef mince
4 small mulit-coloured capsicum
1 large onion
2 tablespoons ground chili seasoning
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon hot sauce
4 chocolate buttons
1 cup beer
1 beef stockpot (equivalent of 2 cups beef stock)
1 cup water (omit if using stock)
2 tins diced tomatoes
1 tin kidney beans
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon water
- In a frying pan, heat a little oil and fry off half the mince. Drain out fat/oil and set aside. Repeat with the remainder of the meat.
- Finely dice the onion and capsicums.
- In a large heavy pot (I use a dutch oven), brown the onion and capsicums in a little oil. Add the drained, cooked mince, all the spices, hot sauce, chocolate. Stir until combined.
- Add the beer, stock, water and tomatoes.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes*.
- Uncover and stir in the kidney beans.
- Mix a teaspoon each of cornmeal, flour and water. Add to pot to thicken the sauce.
- Once beans are heated through serve with whatever you please. We have had ours with sour cream, guacamole, smoked cheddar, spaghetti, nachos and cornbread.
- Tastes even better in days to come or freeze portions for your future self.
* 30 minutes is an excellent amount of time to whip up some cornbread. Just sayin’…
Getting right into American southern food, see my next post for cornbread with chili and also cornbread french toast.