Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Simple Chili con Carne

While I was visiting my sister this autumn, we made a giant batch of this chili. This is my sister's go-to recipe for chili and it was definitely a keeper. The ingredients are simple, the spicy factor can be turned way up or way down, and you really can't mess it up. Unfortunately my camera was on its last leg when I was making this chili, so half of the pictures are out of focus. Luckily my main chili picture is clear, otherwise this would be a pretty sad looking post.

I made a batch of cheese biscuits to serve along with this chili and they complemented each other perfectly. As with all Tex-Mex style food, you can top these with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, or anything you'd put on a plate of nachos (I am sure that comment has offended any true Tex-Mex cooks out there). I usually love adding a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of cheese to counteract the red pepper flakes in my chilis since I tend to use a generous amount.

Recipe from Gourmet via Smitten Kitchen

2 large onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 carrots, in a small dice
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, ground coarse or 3 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon crumbled dry oregano
½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce or 2 cups fresh tomato sauce or tomato puree
1 1/4 cups beef broth (chicken broth would work too)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups or 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 green bell peppers, chopped
salt and pepper, to season

In a large pot over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Once hot, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, until they soften. Add the garlic and carrots and cook another minute. Increase the heat to medium and add the beef. Cook the beef, breaking apart any chunks, until browned. Mix in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and red peper flakes and cook another minute. Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, and vinegar and cover the pot. Simmer the chili for 35 to 40 minutes. Add the kidney beans, peppers, and salt and pepper to season the chili. Simmer for 15 more minutes, until the peppers have softened. Serve hot with your favorite topping.

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