Chili con Carne y Frijoles

This chili con carne is a flavourful dish that can be whipped up relatively quickly. It is packed with lots flavour and beans, that keep you full longer and can feed a company on a dime. The heat level can easily be adjusted making this a great dish for even the more heat sensitive among us. This recipe is heavy on the frijoles (beans) and light on the carne (meat) to the point where omitting the meat does not make much of a difference as far as flavour is concerned.

So here we have the latest result of me practically cooking myself around the world and I am very happy with the result. Don’t judge me but I have already made this twice in December alone and ate it multiple days. It just keeps and reheats really well. It is so delicious I could eat this every day, I have eaten it three days in row so I am not exaggerating. The photos were taken on day three with the leftovers, not too bad, right? It is so flavourful and with the sweetness and acidity from the tomatoes and the freshness of the cilantro and the dried chilies give it a mild heat. Let’s face it not grew up eating chili candy, some of us (me) just cannot handle intense heat. I like to make my chili very flavourful, yet mild and give everyone the option to make it hotter by adding chili flakes and hot sauce. In most grocery stores fresh chilies are also not widely available where I live, so dried chilies is what I usually have on hand. This is probably not the traditional way to make a chili, but is the easiest and most accessible way for me. My favourite way to eat this chili is with tortilla chips crumbled over it and a sprinkle of chili flakes. What is your favourite way to eat chili? Cilantro or no cilantro?

Chili con Carne y Frijoles

• Olive oil
• 200-300 gr chicken/turkey breast (strips) or ground beef
• Salt
• Pepper
• 2 dried chilis
• 1 bay leave
• 1 onion, diced
• 1-2 bell peppers, diced
• 1-2 dried tomatoes, chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2 tbl tomato paste
• 2 tsp smoked paprika
• Chilli powder
• Cayenne
• 1 tsp oregano
• sugar
• 500 ml tomato puree or chopped tomatoes
• 1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock
• 1-2 cans of beans (kidney, black, garbanzo or a mix)
• ½ -1 can of corn
• Cilantro or parsley
• Hot sauce (optional for more heat)
• Chili flakes
• Sour cream
• Grated cheese
• Bread, tortilla chips, rice

1. Put a large pot on high heat and add some oil to it.
2. Brown the meat of choice and season it with salt and pepper. Then add the onions, bell peppers, bay leaf, oregano, dried tomatoes and dried chilies to the pot. Sauté the vegetables until the onions turn translucent.
3. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
4. Roast the tomato paste, smoked paprika and cayenne for about two minutes.
5. Add the tomato puree and stock and let everything simmer until it has thickened up, stirring occasionally.
6. Season everything to taste, add some hot sauce to make a spicier chili. Add a little sugar should it be a little too acidic.
7. Add the beans and corn and let everything get hot.
8. Serve the chili with a dollop of sour cream or Mexican crema, grated cheese, some cilantro/parsley, chili flakes and bread, tortilla chips or rice.

So there you have a very easy chili con carne and frijoles recipe, that can be adjusted to your own taste very easily. You can make it mild or hot. You can make it with meat or not. You can serve with bread, tortilla chips or rice. It is super versatile and delicious. Honestly the only way you can dislike this recipe is not liking beans because it has a lot of that, but even those you could dial down or replace them fully with garbanzo beans. Everyone knows garbanzo the least offending of all beans although I am partial to a kidney bean. What is your favourite bean? Have a wonderful day!

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