Slow Braised Chili Con Carne

Slow Braised Chili Con Carne

I am a big fan of chilies! When I heard that Zantac was holding a Canadian Chili Challenge I immediatly set to creating a new chili recipe. Chili, like bolognese, is one of those dishes that I just can't resist playing with and trying something new each time. When I find something that I like, it gets carried forward to the next version, etc. Since I started food blogging I have seen a lot of chili recipes and many of them call for ground beef. Although I am going to have to try a ground beef chili one of these days, I find it really hard to resist taking the chance to get a good braise on. There is just something with those chunks of beef that are so tender that they literally melt in your mouth. Another thing that I like about a nice braise is that it takes a long time so all of the flavours have a chance to come out and mingle.

Bacon is a magical ingredient that makes everything better and it certainly works well in chilies. The bacon adds a ton of flavour and you can use the bacon grease to brown the beef and saute the onions so that you don't loose any of the flavour. Although I often like to use fresh chilies in chili, in the Winter they can be hard to come by and dried chilies work just as well. I like to use a variety of chilies and I almost always include some chipotle chillies for their smoky goodness. Next up is the sticky debate about tomatoes and beans and whether they belong in a chili or not. I like chilies both with and without them and this time I decided to go with them to bulk out the chili a bit. Adding some vegetables and beans made me feel a little bit better about the bacon. ;) Once you have all of you basic ingredients you are of course going to need some liquid to do the braising in. You could use water but why not take the opportunity to add some flavour and use some beef stock or better yet some beer and/or coffee. In addition to your standard Texmex spices I like to add a bit of cinnamon and chocolate to the chili to add that hint of something exotic.

Join in on the fun of the Canadian Zantac Chili Challenge or feel free to vote for my beer braised chili con carne recipe when the voting starts in December.

Slow Braised Chili Con Carne

Slow Braised Chili Con Carne

Servings: 4
  • 2 ancho chilies
  • 2 pasilla chilies
  • 2 chipotle chilies
  • 2 chilies de arbol
  • 4 slices bacon (cut into 1 inch slices)
  • 1 pound beef (chuck roast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (19 ounce) can kidney beans (drained and rinsed) (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans, from 1/2 cup dry)
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1 beer
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tablet Mexican chocolate (grated)
  • 1 handful cilantro (chopped)
  1. Toast the ancho, pasilla, chipotle and de arbol chilies in a pan.
  2. Cover in boiling water and let soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large pan and set aside retaining the grease in the pan.
  4. Add the beef and brown on all sides in the bacon grease and set aside.
  5. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  7. Add the bacon, beef, tomatoes, kidney beans, coffee, beer, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne and oregano.
  8. Drain the chilies and blend in a half a cup of fresh water and add to the pot. (Tip: Add the chilies a bit at a time taste testing as you go to get it to the level of heat that you desire.)
  9. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the beef is fork tender, about 3-5 hours, adding more liquid if required.
  10. Add the Mexican chocolate.
  11. Remove from heat and mix in the cilantro.

Slow Cooker: Implement steps 1-4, optionally implement steps 5&6, place everything except the cilantro in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before adding the cilantro.


MaryBeth said...

What a fabulous and very flavorful chili always have the best dishes.

Jenn said...

Nice. I love the little added avocado slice on top. yum!!!

Sri said...

Kevin, you have gone to town with the chillies...nice! recipe sounds explosive in terms of flavor.
All the best for the challenge. Looking forward to voting.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That chili looks very flavorful! A marvelous dish.



Happy cook said...

Wowo this chillie looks so so delicous. I have been wanting to make chillie for long and i too hhave only seen recipes with minced beef.
I have to google what this chuck roast is i presume it is some kind of wtewing meat.

HoneyB said...

This sounds great. I have always used ground beef in chili - time to move on I think! I need to see where I can find those chilies you used in my area! Happy Thanksgiving Kevin!

Joanne said...

Zantac with a chili competition - what an unlikely pair! This chili looks delicious. I prefer chunky chilis myself. The meat is so much more appealing that way.

James said...

Wow - coffee, beer, bacon, chocolate - sounds too good. Maybe it should be 2 beers & 2 coffees though. 1 of each to drink while its cooking.

Inspires me to try it with venison.

Patricia said...

Soon I will quit my job and make your recipes on a daily basis, like Julie in Julia and Julie...

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Sounds terrific Kevin - I love the cooling effect of the avocado on top (and it looks so pretty too)

Antonietta said...

Ohh I love the Mexican flavors of this dish. It is a keeper for a cold day!

Sarah said...

Wow Kevin, your chili sounds delicious, I will definitely have to try it!

Nina Timm said...

3-5 hours, no wonder the chili looks so intense and full of flavor!!!

Kerstin said...

I love all the spices and layers of flavor in your chili - yum! Good luck in the contest!

Jenn@slim-shoppin said...

I'll totally vote for yours Kevin!

My husband pretty much makes 1 meal a few times a year and that's chili. He always uses ground beef and we do use beans. I've never thought of doing a different kind of meat other than chicken.

Your recipe looks amazing!

Chris said...

Funny marketing on the part of Zantac. Your chili looks great, Kevin. Happy Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

4 kinds of chiles and bacon? Be still my heart! I must make this immediately! Thanks Kevin - this looks FANTASTIC!

Audax said...

Wow wonderful and very tasty recipe - I love the idea of braising the beef. This would be a fabulous recipe since I love beans, tomatoes, chillies and those spices. Beautiful photo also, well done. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

Cooking with Michele said...

Looks like a great chili! I judged a neighborhood chili cookoff recently - the other two judges were Claudine Pepin, Jacques daughter, and a produce from the food network, so it was really a kick for me. The winning chili was a green chili posole and to my absolute surprise, it was done with all canned Mexican products!

Lynnylu said...

You've got my vote. I love the depth of flavors in your braised chile. Good luck in the chili challenge.

The Culinary Chase said...

My favorite & I like the added touch with the avocado. I'm amazed at what you cook in your 'small' kitchen. Are you sure it's really that small?? Cheers!

Kate said...

This sounds like a really delicious and mouth watering chili. I will definitely give it a try this weekend. Thanks for sharing! :)

Pam said...

Kevin - I will definitely vote for you!

Sri said...

You know what would be great to top all of this?...some fresh lemon juice squeezed on it.

rich0d said...

definately interesting, I might cook this for my girlfriends family when I'm in Tucson in a few weeks, good cheap beef and lots of chillis to put in it... Plus her brother is a big lover of beer, and her and her mother love chocolate, so I'm sure if I pull it off, it will go down a treat! :)

Rabbittrick said...

What a coincidence! I recently made chilli too, something I tried for the VERY FIRST time - only because all the last times I ate it at restaurants I never knew what it was called!

You're definitely right about it being a great recipe to play with. Mine's not as great as yours though; you've definitely got my vote come December 2 !

eatme_delicious said...

I don't eat beef but I'm super intrigued by this recipe!! I love that there's coffee and beer in it.

Andrea said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I made the chili, and it was my first time making chili with bacon, coffee and beer. It's amazing what a 5 hours on the stove can do.

Stacy said...

Could you please advise as to the tupe of beer? One beeris not a very informative description. >. < Are we talking a pale ale, a stout, an ipa, a scotch ale (which might be really good. ..hmmm). I would just hate to get a beer that's too hoppy and have the bitterness throw the whole thing off. >. < thanks!!

Kevin said...

Stacy: A lot of beers will work in this. I like to go with a Mexican beer, PA or IPA. A stout or even a chocolate stout would also work. I recommend that you go with one that you enjoy drinking.

Andrea said...

A few quesitons... When you say to blend the chilies with a half cup of fresh water do you mean using a food processor or simply stir together? Also, how would you convert if I would like to use a slow cooker? THANK YOU!!!

Kevin said...

Andrea: Blend the chilies and water in a food processor or blender to puree them. This recipe would be great in the slow cooker and would do all of the steps the same except step 9 where you would transfer to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours. If you want to you could skip browning the meat and vegetables before placing them in the slow cooker but this would reduce the flavour a bit.

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