I grew up with this simple yet delicious dish. My mum who worked full-time would make this periodically because it was easy to make and usually we got more than one meal from it. Her recipe was simple and not much fuss, but the key was fresh spices. If your chili powder is old or not of good quality to begin with, you’ll never end up with a decent pot of chili. If the house didn’t smell like mouth-watering fragrances while it was cooking, then it wasn’t done right. Pretty simple!
I know that N. America makes a big deal about chili, with all sorts of contests on the biggest flavour and especially how spicy it is. However, we didn’t like food that left you reeling in pain days later. We didn’t like a meal that lacked flavour because there wasn’t enough spice added. Nor did we like a chili that was so hot you couldn’t taste anything because your mouth was on fire. So the balance of heat, flavour, and edibleness was key.
Simple suggestion for all spices; buy them in small quantities, buy them often. I like the Bulk Barn because I can taste a little spice before I buy it. I found one chili that’s a little more expensive than the others but its value was evident in its heat. It was a deep red, very fragrant, and only tasting a touch on your finger and you could feel the heat. An excellent grade of chili powder. This means I only need 1 tbsp for a large pot of medium heat chili.
Today I make chili often and my family really loves the flavours. I don’t make it too spicy and recently began adding smoked paprika for a different unique taste. It’s optional of course, but you might want to try it some time to give your chili a distinct taste. Adjust the cumin, sugar, cinnamon, salt as needed. The age and quality of your spices will depend on how much you need to add.
Truly this dish is best served the following day, but it’s also pretty good the same day. Top with your favourite toppings, if you like, such as a sharp cheese, corn chips, salsa, cilantro etc. Enjoy!!!
Chili Con Carné
- 1 Vegetabel oil
- 1 Large onion chopped
- 1 Green pepper, diced
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Lb Ground beef Don't get too lean of a meat as the fat provides a lot of flavour
- 38 Ounces Kidney Beans Make sure to rinse them well before using
- 1 + 1 tsp tbsp salt Adjust according to taste
- 24 Ounces Tomato Sauce If using store bought make sure there aren't other ingredients in it, just tomatoes and salt.
- 1 tbsp Brown sugar Not raw sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
- 2-4 tbsp chili powder Make sure your chili powder is deep red and fresh. Buy small portions at a time instead of a big container
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika optional - not necessary but adds a nice smokey flavour to chili
- 1 tbsp Freshly cracked pepper
- 1-2 cups Water adjust so chili isn't too thick or too thin
- In a large pot using 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, cook onions on medium heat. After 3 minutes add garlic. Then add ground beef. Salt your beef with about 1 tsp of kosher or himalayan pink salt. Add fresh black pepper, about 1 tsp.
- Once beef is about half-way cooked add green peppers. After 5 minutes add tomato sauce and stir well.
- Add all spices and stir well. Thoroughly rinse your beans and then add to chill. Stir well. Let simmer for aprox 1 hour. Taste chili for enough heat, and salt. Your chili powder should be hot and spicy thus reducing how many tablespoons you need.
- Turn off heat and allow to cool before sampling. This will allow all the flavours to come through and you can adjust your spices as needed. You want it to be bright and vibrant in colour, both from chili powder and from tomato sauce.
- Serve the next day with shredded cheddar cheese, diced green onions, sour cream and corn chips.