Chili con Carne

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 45m
  • Rating ****

Serves 4

The foods of northern Mexico and especially the cuisines of Sonora and Chihuahua have long provided inspiration for Texas and southwestern cooking so that today they have a great deal in common. Cattle were raised on ranches in northern Mexico long before they were introduced across the border, and vaqueros -- the Mexican cowboys -- no doubt made campfire stews similar to this before their North American counterparts popularized the ubiquitous "bowl of red." Chili con carne was probably adapted originally from Caldillos or Cazuelas, beef stew that were unusual in that they were cooed by men rather than women. Great pride was taken in achieving the hottest and tastiest chile. Literally "chile with meat," chili con carne may or may not contain beans. Versions in northern Mexico often do, while those north of the border (and especially in Texas) usually do not.


  • For Diced Steak:
  • 1 pound top sirloin steak, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • For Chili:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons ancho or red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 cup grated smoked cheese, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)


TO PREPARE DICED STEAK: Season the diced steak with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and sear the steak over high heat, while stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until brown on all sides. Remove the meat and set aside.

TO PREPARE CHILI: Add a little more oil if necessary, then add the garlic and onion, and cook for 2 minutes, until soft and light golden. Lower the heat to medium and add the chili powder, cumin, and flour, and mix well. Return the meat to the pan and coat thoroughly. Add the tomato paste and 1 cup of the stock, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of the stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of stock, the beans, and a little water if necessary. Adjust the seasoning and stir the chili well to distribute all the ingredients evenly.

TO SERVE: Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or for 3 to 4 minutes in an oven heated to 250 degrees. Spoon the chili into warm serving bowls and sprinkle with the cheese and scallions if desired. Serve with the warm tortillas.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.

RecID 5717

nutrition information per serving

710 calories; 24g total fat; 69mg cholesterol; 674mg sodium; 85g carbohydrates; 12g fiber; 42g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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