Today we travel to distant lands. We’ll get to America and will try a famous traditional dish, chili con carne. Although we all have it in our minds as a classic Mexican recipe, chili con carne has been designated as the official dish of the state of Texas, since 1977.
It is one of my favorite ethnic recipes. It is a simple and easy dish. Moreover, it is very healthy, providing us with a large amount of fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, calcium, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, lycopene, vitamins and other minerals. Served with rice and sour cream (or yogurt), on tortillas, with cornbread, with spaghetti, as a dip, it is generally a versatile dish. It contains ground beef, beans (usually red and sometimes white), spices, tomatoes and, of course, chili peppers. Traditionally the dish is spicy. You, of course, you can make it as spicy as you like. In the recipe I give you it is as hot as most people can withstand. Combined with rice, it gets milder.
I also served it on small kale pitas, as a treat to a sudden visit from friends and it was amazing! Of course, in the pictures you don’t see yogurt, because when I set up nicely the food to photograph it, I realized I had no more yogurt …. So imagine a bowl of yogurt somewhere in the photos … 🙂
It is important to let the food simmer for at least 1 hour, for a thick and juicy dish.
- • 500 g. (1.1 pound) ground leaned beef
- • 800 g. (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
- • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- • 2 large onions, chopped
- • 5 medium cloves garlic, crushed
- • 2 medium carrots, chopped
- • 2 stalks celery, chopped
- • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- • 3-4 small chili peppers, chopped
- • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- • 1 can (400 g. / 14 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and strained
- • ½ can (200 g. / 7 oz.), corn (optional)
- • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- • 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
- • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- • 3 tablespoons olive oil
- • salt & pepper, to taste
- • ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley or coriander
- In a large saucepan, over medium heat, heat the oil and sauté the onion until soft.
- Add garlic, carrots, celery, bell peppers and cook until soften, for about 5 minutes.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Sauté until the meat is well-browned on all sides, stirring, for about 5 minutes.
- Add cumin, paprika and cinnamon and stir.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, beans, corn and chili peppers and seasoning. Stir.
- Cover the pan, lower the heat and let simmer for about 1 hour, until the beef is tender and the sauce is thick and juicy, stirring now and then. You may need to add a bit of warm water if it appears dry.
- 5 minutes before you remove the pan from heat, add parsley.
- Serve with rice (I chose brown rice) and strained yogurt or sour cream.