Nothing makes me think of the old west, quite like a pot of chili with a side of freshly baked corn bread. I had no idea that chili con carne has such a sorted past and was once called The Soup of the Devil by Spanish missionaries. It’s notorious origins made it the chosen food of cowboys and outlaws. If you love a good food story you can dive deeper into the history of chili by visiting FoodRepublic.com. When you and your posse feel like your rustling up grub wrangle the ingredients for this delicious and easy Chili Con Carne recipe. Once a cowboy staple, now an American Classic, this pot of chili beans will surely satisfy you and all the cowpoke in your life.
One Great Big Pot of Chili Beans
This super simple recipe is made even better by being a one pot wonder. There is no need for fancy cookware when you are making this rustic stew, but a few tricks of the trade will guarantee the perfect pot of beans.
Dry Pinto Beans or Canned Pinto Beans?
This recipe in particular is my lazy cooking fantasy. Ground meat cooks up so fast, and opening cans take all of the guesswork and time out of getting perfectly softened beans. I have done this in larger batches and soaked the beans, and the money savings just isn’t worth it to me. If you happen to already have the dry beans or you really like to start from scratch I have included a full proof way to quickly soften pinto beans below.
How to Soften Dry Beans
If you are inclined to buy dry beans, you can speed up the softening process a bit. Rather than soak the beans in cold water overnight. Simply rinse your beans and make sure they are free of any rocks or dirt. Pour them into a pot and cover with water. Make sure there is plenty of water. Boil them first for 1 hour. Drain and rinse again. Then put them in the pot and cover with water and boil for 45 minutes. They should be soft after the second boil. Don’t throw away the bean water the second time as it contains good starch that will help make a nice thick gravy for your chili.
How to Serve Chili Con Carne
I almost always serve this the first night as a main dish topped with fresh chopped onions, sour cream, cheddar cheese and a side of corn muffins. After that, all bets are off. This is a great side dish with tri tip or an amazing topping for nachos or hot dogs. This recipe makes such a big pot of chili that you can reinvent and enjoy it all week long.
“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by the way he eats jelly beans.” Ronald Reagan
Easy Chili Con Carne
- 1 lb Ground Beef 80/20
- 1/2 lb Italian Sausage Medium or Spicy
- 1/2 C Water
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1/2 Red Onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 2 23 oz Cans Pinto Beans in Water
- 1 14 oz Can Kidney Beans
- 1 14 oz Can Stewed Tomatoes
- 1 C Salsa Picante Medium
- 1 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Granulated Onion
- 1 Tbsp Dry Parsley
- 1 Tbsp Red Chili Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Ancho Chili Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- Heat a large sauce pot on medium high.
- Add ground beef and sausage to the pot. If you used sausage that is in link form, simply cut the casing away and add only the meat to the pot. Add water and brown meat using a large spoon to break up the meat.
- Chop garlic and onions into a fine dice and add to mostly browned meat. Season with all of your dry spices, and cook until onion are translucent and meat is well cooked and broken up into very small pieces.
- Add all of your beans with the liquid. Add stewed tomatoes, crushing them in your hand as you add them. Add salsa picante, and butter.
- Stir everything together and bring to a simmer. Let cook for at least 1 hour 30 minutes.
- For best results, cook a day in advance, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.