There are about as many different chili recipes as there are people who make it. This is my favorite. That said, please note that I put beans in my chili. For some people (Texans), that is sacrilege. Different strokes … So, technically this should be called Chile con Carne y Frijoles. Also, I like to use a combination of ground beef and pork in my chili – I think the pork gives an interesting added flavor dimension. Of course, you could use 100% beef, too. I grind my own meat using a combination of beef chuck and boneless country-style pork ribs. Enjoy!
- 2 lbs. ground beef or a combination of beef and pork — I like a 70/30 beef/pork ratio
- 2 small or 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 Tbsp prepared chili powder, such as Gebhardt
- 1 Tbsp paprika (if you have Spanish smoked paprika, use it; it provides a nice smoky flavor)
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp. New Mexico chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more, if you like your chili spicier)
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 oz. unsweetened dark chocolate
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 14-oz. can beef broth or bouillon
- 1/2 lb. dried kidney beans (or other favorite beans), rinsed and soaked overnight
- 2 cups water
- Soak the beans in water overnight. Before cooking the chili, drain and rinse the beans.
- Cook the ground beef and pork in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened — about 5 minutes.
- Put all of the spices and the chocolate into the pot and stir well.
- Next, add all the remaining ingredients except the salt: Add the peppers, tomatoes, beef broth, water and kidney beans. Don’t add salt until near the end of cooking or it will toughen the beans. Stir well and cook at a simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours, or until the beans are tender.
- When the beans are tender and the chili is ready to serve, add salt to taste. Serve with optional garnishes like minced onion, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, etc.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.