The Best Chili Ever

Friday 12 November 2010

When I was a teenager, my mother discovered a recipe for Chili Con Carne. It was on the back of a Tomato Soup Tin. My father absolutely loved it!!

Because my father loved it, that meant we had it every Saturday night for supper, throughout my teenage years. This was amazing actually . . . as this was the man who had told my mother for years and years that the only spices his mother had ever used were salt and pepper, and who refused to eat any dish that was spiced with anything else.

My mother discovered oregano . . . and chili powder. Life was never the same again. Suddenly our food became colourful and more flavourful. It wasn't too long after that she discovered green peppers . . . and pepper steak was born! (At least in our house anyways! Can you believe I had never tasted a pizza until I was about 16??? I know!! I was sooo deprived!!)

I've come a long way from those early bowls of chili . . . they were rather bland actually . . . just tinned tomato soup, beans, onions, and ground beef with some chili powder and oregano thrown in for good measure.

Thankfully, I have been a lot more adventurous in my experimentations . . . and my tastes. Mind you . . . it's a completely different world out there these days . . . it's a much smaller place and so much more is available to us.

This is a fantastic bowl of red, or chili as it is commonly called. Rich and flavourful and oh sooooooo scrummy! We like it with grated cheddar cheese dusted over the top, and a bit of chopped onion . . .

With crusty white rolls to mop up all of those lovely juices, thick like gravy . . .

Can anything on earth taste any better than white bread and gravy? I think not! Especially if it's chili gravy! Yum!! Yum!!

*The Best Chili Ever*
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

You can't beat a big tasty bowl of red. This is rich and flavourful and rib stickin' good!

1 TBS oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
4 green chilies, trimmed, seeded and chopped (or to taste)
1 pound of extra lean beef mince (ground round)
1 pound of beef sirloin, trimmed and cut into small cubes
1 (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes in juice (14 ounce)
1 tomato tin measure of dark ale
1 tomato tin measure of beef broth
225ml (1 cup) dark strong coffee
2 heaped dessertspoons of tomato puree (about 3 TBS)
3 1/2 TBS tomato ketchup
2 ounces soft light brown sugar (1/4 cup)
1 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS cocoa powder
(not hot chocolate drink mix)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp mild chili powder, or to taste
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp fine seasalt
4 (400g) tins of kidney beans, drained and rinsed (14 ounce tins X 4)

To serve:
Chopped onion
grated strong cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and chilies. Cook and stir until soft. Add the meats. Cook, stirring, til browned. Stir in the cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, chili powder, coriander and sea salt. Mix in well. Stir in the tomatoes, ale, beef broth, coffee, tomato puree and brown sugar. Add the beans. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally over low heat for about 2 hours, til nice and thick and rich. Serve hot with some chopped onion and cheddar cheese sprinkled over the top. Delicious!


  1. Interesting with the ale and coffee and looks good too!

  2. Oh, chili...yes, please! The spicier the better in my book!

    How do you make even the simplest of dishes look so divine? It's a gift, my friend!

    Love you loads and hope you're having the most wonderful day!


  3. My grandmother was the cook when I growing up. My mom always said that all her life she knew what would be for supper by the day of week.

    That was until someone gave my grandmother a crock pot for Christmas. I was 8 when we had chili and I loved so much, she made it often.

    I thought I was deprived by not having pizza until I was 10.

  4. Like minds? Wednesday, I bought chili meat to cook this week. I was wanting a good recipe which I don't have here with me, back in Texas. I like your chocolate and coffee additions to the recipe. That is new for me. I'll try it tomorrow. I have some new little orange peppers that are quite hot, too. Thanks Marie, you always know what to cook. xo Jenny

  5. VERY good recipe, Marie! This could be the Meat-lover's Chili too. ;o) My hubby would love this... LOL! Happy Day, dear friend, LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  6. Do you think I could replace the gorund beef with chicken mince? I've always wanted to try chili but its the whole red meat issue for me (sad I know!)

  7. I can't see why you couldn't sub ground turkey or chicken for ghe beef Chele! Let me know how it goes! (Not sad about the beef thing, we are strongly thinking about becoming vegetarian . . . )

  8. Hi - I loved the story about your mother. My mam went to catering college in Wales in the early 70s and it really opened up her repertoire of meals. Garlic made a surprise appearance in our house when it had been suspiciously dismissed as 'too foreign and too smelly' before! Although she used it surreptitiously at first... not telling my dad it was there.

  9. Oh, I LOVE funky chili!! I think cocoa powder adds such a lovely flavor. I will definitely try this! I serve mine on a bed of crumbled cornbread... delicious!

  10. The coffee sounds really interesting.I have seen it in recipes..but you saying it's The Best..well that sits well with me:)

  11. Growing up in Texas many years ago, the men in our family cooked two things, barbeque and chili. My dad had a magical recipe that produced a potful of meaty aromatic goodness that could be topped by no other. He never wrote it down but from what I remember it was much like yours. He said that cocoa was his secret ingredient. Your recipe made me smile. It looks delicious.

  12. I've just prepared this Marie & it's bubbling away on the stove top. I deseeded 2 green chillies, umming & arring about the 3rd. I've just had a quick taste & it's FIERY!! Unlike me to be cautious, but boy am I glad I was! I've just told MOTH he needs to head off to the Off Licence for extra beer supplies - we'll need them tonight to quench the flames!!!

  13. MIllie, I do hope you enjoy!! The chillies mellow out somewhat in the slow cooking . . . perhaps my chillies are milder than yours?? I don't know!


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