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The Best Ever Chili Con Carne

  • Prep Time
    30 mins
  • Cook Time
    2 hrs
  • Serving
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“Next to music there is nothing that lifts the spirits and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili.”

                                                                                                                                                                                       Harry James (1916-1983) band leader and trumpeter.

I cannot agree more! We somehow assume that Chili con Carne is an authentic Mexican dish but you will be surprised to know that the only thing certain about the origins of chili is that it did not originate in Mexico! Here is some interesting information about it.

Charles Ramsdell, a writer from San Antonio in an article called San Antonio: An Historical and Pictorial Guide, wrote:

“Chili, as we know it in the U.S., cannot be found in Mexico today except in a few spots which cater to tourists. If chili had come from Mexico, it would still be there. For Mexicans, especially those of Indian ancestry, do not change their culinary customs from one generation, or even from one century, to another.”

If there is any doubt about what the Mexicans think about chili, the Diccionario de Mejicanismos, published in 1959, defines chili con carne as (roughly translated):

“detestable food passing itself off as Mexican, sold in the U.S. from Texas to New York.”

In fact it is one of the most famous dishes in Texas, hence it would be better defined as a Tex Mex dish. There are many variations of the Chili con Carne recipes, my favorite is one with two secret ingredients … cocoa and coffee. Do not be afraid to try it! I can assure you, it tastes delicious! Also do not be put off by the long list of ingredients! Trust me, it will all be worth it when you taste it!



    Step 1

    In a large pot, saute the onion, carrot, celery and chilli pepper (jalapeno) in olive oil for a few minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the pancetta, garlic and dried herbs and cook for a few minutes more. Add the mince and brown, stirring continuously. Throw in the potato cubes, followed by the spices, that is the paprika, cumin and chilli, followed by the tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and sugar and cook until the wine is absorbed. Finally add the crushed tomatoes, the bay leaf, the coffee, the cocoa and two cups of beef stock. Season with salt and pepper.

    Step 2

    Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for about an hour and a half to two hours, stirring occasionally. If too thick, add a litttle extra stock. During the last half an hour of cooking, stir in the canned kidney beans.

    Step 3

    When serving, put a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, top it with some freshly grated cheddar and sliced spring onions. Serve with plain white rice. You can also serve it with avocado cubes or slices as well as some tortilla chips.


    Hi, I'm Jacqui, creator of The Blender and Senza G. I was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2012 and since then, gluten free cooking has become a passion of mine. I just love food, experimenting and creating new gluten free recipes or re-inventing old favorite ones so I can still enjoy what I used to love before. Being Celiac makes cooking more challenging but with loads of patience, intensive research and a burning desire to learn more and more, living the Gluten Free lifestyle has become much much easier. My mission has been that gluten free food should taste good. Gluten Free does not mean taste free and I will keep on working to discover new ways of making it even better! ❤️

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