When the weather is cold, the temperature is just right for a steaming bowl of chili.
In our home, we take our chili seriously… VERY seriously. When the first cold snap occurs, I make a large pot of chili, and we freeze the leftovers to eat on for weeks, topped with everything and anything from tomatoes to cheddar cheese, sour cream to cilantro. We also love to serve chili over corn chips or tortilla chips – gives is a great crunch! – but other local friends like their chili over rice and sprinkled with chopped onion.
My chili always starts with dry beans. If I forget to soak them overnight, I will just give them a quick-cook using the method on the bag.
Honestly, I cannot stand the smell of dry beans as they cook. Not sure why… I just hate the smell. So soaking overnight works best for me but I often forget. Less time cooking means less time smelling.
And if you are scared of chili because you do not like spice, this Chili con Carne recipe is completely flexible. To spice it up, you can add chopped jalapeños or pepper sauce. To bring it down a notch, add less chili powder. It’s completely up to you.
Chili con Carne Recipe
- 1 (16 ounce) bag dry kidney beans, sorted and rinsed
- 2 pounds ground chuck, browned and drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (32 ounce) carton beef broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 to 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- Salt and pepper, to taste (I use about 1 tablespoon of salt to compensate for the dry beans)
- Water, if needed
- Quick cook the beans according to package directions. Once done, rinse and set aside.
- In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil shimmers, add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about three minutes or until softened slightly.
- Stir in the remainder of the ingredients, including the beans. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 3 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve with shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños, rice… or whatever your family enjoys.