A spicy, warming, Crock-pot beef chili con carne with all the trimmings.Guaranteed to be a new family staple.It is Terrific comfort food for cold winter weekends.
Chili con carne – or often just chili – is a dish that creates a lot of heated debate. (See what I did there? Heated, because it can be spicy.) Beans or no beans. Tomatoes ore no tomatoes? Cheese or no cheese. Crackers or corn chips or Fritos or nothing? In total honesty, I have been involved in near shouting matches over whether or not chili has beans or not. With adults!What about chili verde? Or white chili? Or vegetarian chili? How spicy should it be?All that’s before we get anywhere near the actual flavor ingredients. Who hasn’t heard of the chili cooks adding crushed Oreo cookies or some other unexpected ingredient to give their chili a little something extra?Well, I won’t be settling any bets for you on these arguments with this chili con carne recipe. I can tell you that I’m in favor of beans (as you’ll see below) and I suggest making it as spicy as your palate (or your guest’s palates) can handle. On the rest of the controversies, I’m pretty agnostic.
If you want to thicken up your chili and give it a little backbone, then tomato puree will do that for you no problem. If you want to counterbalance the spice a bit, brown sugar will absolutely do that for you. A little bit of cheese or sour cream will give a creamier flavor and lighten the color, but I don’t usually prefer that. I personally really like the texture that crumbled crackers give my own bowl of chili, but I’ve also had tortilla chips that were good and chili that was so tasty naked that it would have been a crime to add anything to it.
I guess what I’m saying is that, even more than my other recipes, I’m not only encouraging you all to tinker and tweak chili con carne recipe, I’m expecting it. As always, I want to hear about your experiments in the comments, both successful and disastrous. Did you try that new Carolina Reaper pepper and scorch your mother-in-law’s tongue? Did you use beans and have somebody get extremely vocal about how real chili doesn’t have beans? Share your stories!
The one thing about this recipe that I do consider inviolate is the use of the crock-pot. Not only will it make your life easier to have dinner finished by the time you get home, but it will taste so much better! Much like a stew, chili ingredients mix into a delightful mélange that is only enhanced by hours of slow cooking. Change everything else if you must, but stick with the chili con carne recipe that goes in a crock-pot.
Thanks and I look forward to your comments!
Best Chili con Carne RecipePrint
So easy and delicious Chili con carne!