This comforting chili con carne stew is rich, full of flavor, and perfect to make for a casual dining with friends. Serve with rice or tortillas for an extremely satisfying meal.
I never realized how easy it is to cook chili con carne until one Saturday afternoon when Erez felt like making it. He has casual beef cravings the way I have chocolate cravings. It was the first time I watched him prepare a meal without me. He was chopping everything perfectly, seasoning and tasting often, and cooking patiently until this thick and flavorful stew was finished. And it was amazing.
Let me break this recipe down into 5 steps so you can see how easy it really is:
- Cook the onion, around 5 minutes.
- Add the other vegetables, and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add beef and cook until well browned, 5-10 minutes.
- Add seasoning, 1 minute.
- Add all the other ingredients and simmer until tender and thick, at least 1 hour, making sure to stir once in a while.
Take your time
You don’t want to speed through the cooking process. Browning the meat is an important step for a rich and intense flavor, and waiting for the chili to cook for a full 1 hour, or even more, is necessary for a thick, flavorful dish and perfectly tender meat.
I used 4 small red chili peppers, each about 10cm long, and it was spicy, but when combined with rice and other ingredients, it was perfect. Still, you can use fewer chilies if you’re not a huge fan of the heat.
I love serving chili con carne with rice and sour cream or inside tortillas with guacamole, sour cream and rice. It makes a perfect comfort food for cold, rainy days with friends or family.
This is a great recipe to make in advance. A day after making it, it tastes just as amazing—or some would say even better.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 2 red peppers, finely chopped
- 3-4 small red chili peppers, cored, seeded, and minced
- 500 g/1.1 pound ground beef
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cans (14 oz/400 g each) diced or crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 1 can (15 oz/400 g) black beans
- 1 can (15 oz/400 g) white beans
- Handful of chopped fresh coriander
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and slightly translucent. Add garlic, carrots, celery, peppers, and chili peppers and cook until begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add ground beef. Break it up with your spoon so there are no big lumps, and cook until no longer pink and well-browned on all sides, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cumin, paprika, and cinnamon.
- Add canned tomatoes (with juices), balsamic vinegar, beans, and coriander, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and lower the heat. Cook at a steady simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender and juices have darkened and thickened. The longer you cook – the better. I usually cook mine for 1 hour. If at any point during cooking the mixture appears dry, add a few tablespoons of water. The result should be thick, moist, and juicy.
- Serve with rice and sour cream.
- Chili will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.