MAY 2013 Update
This recipe has been simplified and revised. Please see my updated post for this chili con carne recipe.
About 18 months ago, friends of mine from London visited our Jerusalem home and I offered to cook them anything they wanted – my “thank you” to them for making the trip. Without skipping a beat, my buddy said “you’ve got to make your chili con carne”. My wife paused, a confused look on her face, for this is a dish of mine that she had never tasted, and yet our guests from my previous home-country knew this as my signature. That night, we had chili, a dish my mother raised me on, and I realized the only reason I had never cooked this for my wife was her red kidney bean allergy. By the way, the little secret from home that Jamie Oliver could learn – cocoa powder is in ingredient to bring this all together!
This chili can be served in baked potatoes, over fluffy white rice, or as I am serving it, over brown basmati rice that I cooked with turmeric. While it is delicious straight from the stove top, let this sit in the fridge over night and the flavors will come alive – seriously, it’s well worth the wait!
Chili Con Carne Recipe
Add the following to your grocery list for your next visit to the farmers market and you’ll be in for a treat!
- 1 Onion
- 3 Stalks of Celery
- 1 Cup Chickpeas (canned or dried, if you’re using dried chickpeas soak and boil ahead of time) (optional)
- 1 Can Red Kidney Beans (same notes apply here) (optional but highly recommended for that authentic taste)
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Generous Handful of Baby Carrots
- 1 Teaspoon each of Paprika, Cumin, Cinnamon, Chili Powder and Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Coriander
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 2 Tomatoes + 1 Can Tomato Sauce, or 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
- 1lb Ground Beef
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Red Wine
Warm a large skillet or pot, drizzle olive oil and dice an onion. Dice the celery and add to the skillet. Ditto garlic, red pepper and carrots. Add the spices then drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil. Stir gently so the spices coat the vegetables. Add your diced tomato and tomato sauce, or the can of diced tomatoes.
Crumble the ground beef, mixing into the vegetables with a wooden spoon. Then partially fill the empty can with water, about a third of a can will suffice, and pour into the chili. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat to low.
Add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a cup of red wine and simmer for an hour.
Serve as desired with an ice-cold beer in one hand, and friends, family or people you love in the other. This is a dish that deserves to be shared.