The Best Chili Con Carne with Beans

Bowl of Chili

Be sure to read the entire recipe before starting

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: ½ the day

Best to Eat: The next day

To me a recipe is a more of a guide or suggestion for cooking something that I like or think I might like to try. In my experiences, it is sometimes impossible to follow a recipe to the letter. You may be missing an ingredient or you just can’t stand something the recipe calls for. In that case it is important to be able to improvise, and if tragedy strikes, be willing to start over. Some of the best, and worst, food I have ever made was from recipes that I hacked to make it more to what I liked or thought it should be. There is a major exception to this. That is baked goods and pastries. These recipes need to be rigorously followed or you will end up with inedible crap.

I usually cook the meat first and then the veggies in two large heavy duty skillets, this helps with browning and avoids steaming or boiling the foods in there own juices. This usually requires cooking in several smaller batches. Once these items are cooked I hold them in bowls. Be sure to deglaze the pans with a little water and add it to the pot. Once everything is cooked I combine them into the largest pot I own, a 12 qt. stock pot I bought at the local restaurant supply house.

As you can see I’m not shy about dirtying dishes or pots and pans. I’m sure this is from the days when I was doing this stuff for a living and I could just hand dirty pots and pans to the poor dishwasher. Now I just keep a sink full of hot soapy water and clean up as I go along.

So here is what you will need

1 Large Sweet Onion – Diced ¼ inch

5 Stalks Celery – Sliced ¼ inch

1 Med. Green Pepper – Diced ¼ inch

Several Cloves Garlic – Diced Fine (Cloves are the things you break off the bulb)

Or 3 Tbls Granulated Garlic (Not Garlic Salt)

½ of the tiny leaves and stalks of Celery from inside the Celery bundle – Diced Fine

2 Tbls of cooking oil

2 Tbls Butter

1 Tbls. Beef Base (More if you like your chili “beefy”) be sure the first ingredient on the beef base is NOT salt)

10 to 15 Jalapeno Slices Diced

10 to 20 dashes of Tabasco

2 Tbls Cayenne Pepper (The stuff you put on pizza, see “A word about spices” below)

Salt to taste (See Beef Base)

2 Tbls Brown Sugar

1 Tbls Seasoned Pepper

3 Tbls Mild or Hot Chili Powder (Your call, see “A word about spices” below)

1 Tbls Cumin Powder

1 tsp. Basil

2 Bay Leaves

3 lbs Burger


3 lbs Beef roast of some sort.

½ pound Cooked Pork Sausage

4 15oz Cans Diced Tomatoes

4 15oz Cans Chili Style Pinto Beans (Some people like kidney beans, your call)

1 26oz Can Tomato Sauce

1 Small Can Diced Green Chilies

1 12oz Can of Beer

Burger Method:
Break raw burger into clumps and brown in large pan be sure not to put too much burger in pan at one time. The juices from the burger will just boil the burger not brown it. Once one batch of burger is browned place in heat resistant bowl and continue browning the rest of the burger till it is all browned and in the bowl. You could cook the sausage at this time too.

Beef Chunk Method:
Dice the beef into ½ inch cubes; be sure to get rid of any grizzle, connective tissue and “excess” fat. Brown in large pan as with the burger, you will need to further cook the beef until tender. You can use a pressure cooker or simmer beef in the pan with a little water for a couple of hours until fork tender. I use the pressure cooker method, it is a lot quicker. Just be sure to cook the beef on low or it will get a burned taste

In your large pans you used for the meat add the butter and cooking oil, bring the pan up to heat over med-high to high flame and add the Onions, celery and green pepper cook untill lightly brown around the edges. Stir constantly to avoid burning.

Once the veggies are lightly browned around the edges toss in the garlic and celery leaves and cook for a minute or two, just be sure not to burn the garlic. Remove from heat and add to larger pot.

Now for the rest of the stuff

Combine all the cooked items in the largest pot you have. Open and pour in all the canned goods except the beer. Stir to combine ingredients. Add the diced Jalapeno, Tabasco, Bay Leaves Brown Sugar and other spices. Combine the beef base with about a cup of hot water and add to the pot.

  • A word about spices. It is far easier to put more spices in to your food than it is to remove them. All tastes are not the same and people’s ability to tolerate spicy foods varies. I suggest that you start out with about 2/3rds the spice amounts listed above and then add more till you get the flavor and heat levels you want. If you do happen to over spice the chili, you maybe able to fix it. The longer you let it simmer the more the spices mellow out. So don’t toss it let it cook and let it mellow.

Bring this whole mess to a simmer over med heat being sure to stir it a lot. Open the beer and drink about a ¼ of the can, pour the rest into the pot. Once the Chili is at a simmer, lower the heat to just maintain the simmer, it shouldn’t be bubbling. Stir the chili every 10 minutes or so.

After about an hour taste the chili and adjust the spices.

Let the chili cook until you can’t stand to sit there and look at it because it just look and smells too good not to eat, about 3 to 6 hours.

Serving Suggestions: In bowl with saltine crackers, grated cheese, Jalapeno slices, and/or sour cream.

You know one of the amazing things about good chili is the fact that it is one of the best foods for left-over’s. In fact in my opinion chili is always better the next day.

I hope your chili comes out the way you like it. This is what I like and everybody who has tried it just loves it. Good luck.

Oh by the way I said it was Great Chili, not easy!.

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