For a casual night with family members and friends, chili con carne would be great. It is a very popular dish, so I’m sure you’ve already heard or had it before. It may even be your favorite.
For the sake of those who do not know what it is, chili con carne is a spicy stew that contains chili peppers or chili powder. It is usually made with beef mixed with tomatoes and beans. It can be combined with other ingredients as well, depending on the geographic and personal tastes. The term ‘chili con carne’ is actually the Spanish word for ‘chili meat’. And that’s exactly what it is.
So, what’s so good about it?
Well, there are so many good things about this particular dish. First of all, if you love spicy food, then this is surely one of your favorites. You can even alter it according to your own spice levels so that you can achieve a perfect chili con carne.
Secondly, like what we have said earlier, this recipe involves beef and vegetables. That right there gives you an idea that it is nutritious. And thirdly, it is really delicious. There is no question about that.
With the right level of spice, one bite and you’d surely fall in love with this classic chili con carne recipe.
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup beef stock
canned crush tomatoes (28 oz)
canned kidney beans (14.5 oz)
2 tablespoons each olive oil, ground cumin, dried oregano, smoked paprika, and tomato paste
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more if desired)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley (chopped)
- In a large pan over medium heat, heat olive oil, and cook onion and garlic.
- Add the ground beef and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until it is no longer pink.
- Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano, paprika, and tomato paste. Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, beans, and beef stock.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the chopped parsley and bring to a simmer over low heat.
- Cook for about 1 1/2 hours until the chili thickens.
You can serve chili con carne topped with grated cheddar cheese.
Preventing the Beef from Drying Out
To ensure that the beef won’t dry out quickly, add some baking soda to it before cooking. This should keep it moist. The baking soda will stop the protein from binding fast, which causes the meat to dry out.
Simply mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water. Combine well and mix with the beef prior to cooking.
Browning the Meat
One important thing that you should keep in mind is to avoid overcrowding the pan. Use one that is big enough to accommodate the beef. And also, give the meat enough time to brown because that is when the flavor starts to build up. That’s one secret to achieving the perfect chili con carne. Plus, seasoning it right from the start will help a lot, too.
Just like any stew, chili con carne is always better the next day. Trust me! You can put it in the fridge or even in the freezer and just heat it up later on.