Chili con carne seems to have almost a cult following in the US, and of course especially in Texas. In France however, chili is mostly found in the form of cheap canned food, and is as spicy as some baby powdered milk. This has gotten Pierre interested into cooking some of his own. His recipe is far from the canonical form (which supposedly doesn’t include any veggie but kidney beans) but it’s easy to make and tasty.
Plain chili is actually quite healthy (if you don’t indulge into the cheese, cream or guacamole extra). The beans in particular are full of qualities: they are rich in fibers, iron, proteins and vitamins, while of course low on fat and sugar like other veggies. As they absorb the flavours well and are slow to cook, they are ideal for stews.
Chili Corn Carne
- 2 onions (thinly diced)
- 2 tomatoes (cubed )
- 350 g ground beef
- 250 g dried red beans
- 200 ml of tomato puree
- some tsp of chili con carne spices (according to your taste)
- chili powder for extra hotness (optional – spice it up to your liking 😛)
- Soak the kidney beans in cold water for 12 hours or overnight – this is a MUST or else the beans will take a very very long time to cook.
- Cook the beans in a pot of boiling salted water for about 1 and 1/2 hour. Drain and set aside.
- Fry the chopped onions in a large and deep pan with a bit of olive oil until they are soft.
- Add ground beef and cubed tomatoes.
- Once the beef is cooked, add in tomato puree, chili con carne spices and salt to your liking. If it is not spicy enough to your taste, sprinkle some chili powder for the extra kick.
- Lastly add in the cooked beans. Mix it well and voilà.
I love Pierre’s version. It has an equal amount of meat and beans, great flavour and a nice spicy kick. Best of all, it’s not swimming in a pool of sauce. Most of the chili con carne that I had in Tex-Mex restaurants here have either way too much beans (the amount of beef inside the bowl is so pitiful.) or way too much sauce like soup.
You could skip the onions and cubed tomatoes and still get a decent dish, but the onions add a nice sweetness, while the tomato cubes compensate for the tomato puree dull flavor (well, unless you make your own puree of course). It’s better to use ground beef that is not too lean (Pierre buys some with 15% fat) as fat contributes to flavor (much to the chagrin of everyone who’s on diet).