Monday, January 9, 2012

Wendy's Chili Con Carne

Wendy's Chili Con Carne
What are you having for dinner tonight?  Me?  Left-overs!!  I put a double exclamation because left-overs are one of my all time favorite eats.  Why?  The developed flavor!  Now I know this is not true for every dish but a lot of time if you let a meal sit in the fridge for a day or two the flavor of soups, stews and chili deepens and develops even more.  Which is exactly why I LOVE my chili the next day. 
Every family usually has a few chili con carne recipes under their sleeves and my family is no different (especially since we are from Texas!)  My mom loves lots of beans and vegetables in her chili while my dad argues beans have no place in the spicy meat stew.  There are different schools of thought on what makes the best chili but an even hotter argument is exactly where the first pot was cooked up and by whom.
Chili with all of the fixin's
According to the International Chili Society there are many rumors as to where the first bowl was served up.  Some believe Aztecs created the dish after cutting up invading Spanish conquistadors and seasoning chunks of them with chile peppers before eating them.  Yeah, that's gross.  Others believe it was created by cowboys on the open ranges of Texas in the 1800s.  I think I will go with that option.
My chili recipe is so engrained in my brain I think I could make it with my eyes closed.  Lean ground sirloin, onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, beer and LOTS of spices.  AND of course LOVE ((AWH)).  The trick is to give yourself enough time to let it cook for a good 2-3-4 hours.  Sounds like overkill but the time is well worth it.  
You can't forget the toppings!
Then there are the toppings, of course.  This is where your bowl of chili gets personal.  I love green onions, lots of cilantro, jalapeno and a big squeeze of lime on my chili con carne.  As well as a heaping helping of cheese!
Some jalapenos to kick it up a notch
While I love spicy food I usually go "a little" milder with chili (I stress little!).  Since I am probably going to be serving this up to a crowd I recognize that not every has the love for heat like Joe and I do.  Instead I will offer up some fresh jalapeno slices, red chili flakes and sometimes some chipotle chili peppers in adobo for folks to get their spicy fix.
What do you like on your chili?

  • 1 1/4 pound of lean ground sirloin (96/4)
  • 2 small or 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, minced (with or without seeds)
  • can of beer
  • 28 ounce can of tomatoes, with juice
  • can of kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of chipotle chili powder (depending on heat)
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • olive oil
Veggie Ham Crescent Wreath ReciDirections

  • Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium high heat.
  • Add onions and bell peppers, stirring until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and jalapenos and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in ground sirloin and cook until meat is browned.  Meanwhile, in small bowl mix together chili powders, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, oregano and salt.
  • Once meat is cooked through stir in spice mixture and cook for 2 minutes.  Add can of beer.  Using a wooden spoon scrape up any bits stuck on the bottom of the pot.  Simmer until liquid has reduced by half.
  • Add in canned tomatoes with juice, pinto beans and bay leaves.  Bring pot to a simmer, cover and cook for 2-3 hours until flavors are developed.  Eat immediately or reheated the next day.
  • Serve with chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeno, lime wedges and your favorite shredded cheese.  Enjoy!


  1. Delicious! And I love those bowls. Are they from West Elm???

  2. The bowls are from Anthropologie. My mom gave them to me for Christmas. I love them!!