Unseasonably cold weather this week makes me hunger for much heartier fair. In this case an old Central Texas stand by, Chili con carne
Chili con carne or chilli con carne (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtʃili koŋ ˈkaɾne]), meaning ‘chili with meat’, and almost always known as simply chili or chilli, is a spicy stew containing chili peppers (sometimes in the form of chili powder), meat (usually beef), and often tomatoes and beans. Other seasonings may include garlic, onions, and cumin. The original dish originated in southern Texas with working-class Mexican women.
Geographic and personal tastes involve different types of meat and other ingredients. Recipes provoke disputes among aficionados, some of whom insist that the word chili applies only to the basic dish, without beans and tomatoes. Chili con carne is a frequent dish for cook-offs, and the dish is used as an ingredient in other dishes.
In Spanish, the word chile, from the Nahuatl chīlli, refers to a chili pepper, and carne is Spanish for ‘meat’.
A recipe dating back to the 1850s describes dried beef, suet, dried chili peppers and salt, which were pounded together, formed into bricks and left to dry, which could then be boiled in pots on the trail.
Chili originated from what is now northern Mexico and southern Texas. Unlike some other Texas foods, such as barbecued brisket, chili largely originated with working-class Tejana and Mexican women. The chili queens of San Antonio, Texas were particularly famous in previous decades for selling their inexpensive chili-flavored beef stew in their casual “chili joints”.
My recipe will please many, and anger many. The use of beans and tomatoes really is considered an adulteration of “real chili”, then again looking a beef prices, I’ll use the beans and tomatoes to stretch my investment to cover a number of meals.
Follow on meals maybe as simple as a “Chili Pie”, or as complex as a multi layer tortilla bake. (Not that complex.) The idea being that one meal can help to quickly create another meal. A.K.A A follow on…
Chili con carne
- 2 lb Stew meat (beef sirloin and chuck) diced to 1/2" cubes
- 1 ea Jalapeno Pepper washed, seeded, diced
- 1 ea Yellow Onion peeled, diced
- 4 cups Stock Chicken or Beef
- 1 can Diced Tomatoes 16 oz fire roasted is nice
- 1 can Pinto Beans Or make your own
- 4 ea Garlic Cloves Peeled / diced / crushed
- 2 tsp Paprika smoked is nice
- 3 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Oregano Dried
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper Coarse Ground
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 2 tsp Masa Flour Optional
- 3 slices Bacon Diced
- In a large sauce pan, fry off the bacon and reserve. Keep the fat
- Set heat to medium, Add Onion to sauce pan and cook until soft and translucent
- Add the garlic, jalapeno and cook until fragrant
- Add the beef and saute until browned
- Add chicken stock, seasonings, tomatoes and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to medium low and maintain a low simmer. Simmer for 2-2 and 1/2 hoursChecking / stirring hourly, add stock as needed
- Check the beef for tenderness / done. (it should crumble when squeezed)
- Add drained beans and return to a simmer for an additional 30 minutes
- If using the masa flour, mix with water until a smooth paste forms. Stir into chili and simmer an additional 10-20 minutes or until the chili thickens
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