Spicy Chili con Carne

Published 2020-11-03 on Yaroslav's recipe book. Last edited 2023-03-10

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Chili con carne

This recipe is for those who like their food a little spicy. A classic of Tex-Mex cuisine, although its true origins are disputed.1


Here are the ingredients for 2-4 adult portions, depending on your appetite:

  • 400g ground beef
  • 300g can of pre-cooked beans
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 6–8 spoonfuls tomato paste
  • 1 tomato
  • ~100ml water
  • Whole black peppercorns, or even better, allspice+
  • Chili powder or dried peppers+*
  • Cumin+
  • Oregano+
  • Salt+
  • Cooking oil (preferably olive oil)
  • 3-4 Bay leaves (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Worcestershire sauce (optional)+

+: Add to taste.

*: Before I found where to buy the peppers I wanted where I live, I used to add red hot chili pepper powder, but I have been using chile de arbol and habanero lately, and I must say the flavor is much better.


  1. Add oil to a deep frying pan, or a sauce pan, and heat to medium heat.
  2. Chop the onions and add them to the heated pan.
  3. After frying the onions for a bit, add the ground beef and fry it until it is well-done; salt the beef to taste.
  4. Just before the beef is done, mince or grate the garlic cloves and add it to the pan. Cut the tomato into small pieces.
  5. Add the water, beans and tomato paste and mix.
  6. Add chili powder or dried peppers after crushing them; add tomatoes, oregano, cumin, allspice/peppercorns and a little bit more salt to the pan and mix thoroughly; also add the basil leaves and Worcestershire sauce if you want to add a little more flavor.
  7. Once the mix is boiling, cover the pan, and stew at low heat for about 45-60 minutes.
  8. Once the chili is quite thick (but not too dry!), it should be done; or maybe you prefer it a little bit more soup-y.
  9. You can also add some freshly chopped cilantro on top to add even more flavor.

How to eat

So, this might be strange, to tell somebody how to eat some food, but I gather there's multitude different ways to eat chili. The most obvious one, is to just eat it as it is with a spoon, or maybe with some totopos. I, however, like to make some burritos stuffed with the stuff, together with some grated cheese and jalapeños.

There's of course other dishes, like hot dogs with chili (a.k.a chilidogs), sandwiches with chili, hamburgers with chili; you get the idea.

© 2018—2024 Yaroslav de la Peña Smirnov.