Chili con Carne

Chili con carne (usually known simply as chili) is a spicy stew. The name of the dish derives from the Spanish phrase which means “chili pepper with meat.”

Traditional versions are made at a minimum from chili peppers, garlic, onions, and cumin, along with chopped or ground beef. Beans and tomatoes are frequently included. Variations, both geographic and personal, may involve different types of meat, as well as a variety of other ingredients. It can be found worldwide in local variations and also in certain American-style fast food restaurants.

I got this recipe from a chef and customer in the “West Saloon,” our Tex-Mex restaurant in Vienne, France.


2 cans (15 oz each) of red kidney beans, drained

1 tablespoon of good olive oil

1 large onion, quartered, sliced

2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped

1 lb of ground beef

1 can (14.5 oz) of tomatoes

1 can (8 oz) of tomato sauce

1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon of cumin

½ bottle of full bodied red wine (this gives a fantastic “earthy” flavor)

1 small can of corn (optional, but I think it adds nice color)

1 ½ teaspoons of salt

1 bay leaf

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and brown the onion, then add the ground beef. Cook for a few minutes, and add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, peppers, the wine and seasonings. Simmer for one to two hours, checking and stirring frequently. Add the canned beans and corn and heat through. I usually serve with white rice and garnish with parsley, but you are the chef! (This dish is on special this week at Le Patio.)