Chili con Carne

38eedf4ea19811e2ae2622000a1fb7e1_6Serves 4-6

There are few things that taste better on a cold day than a nice bowl of chili con carne. This is a fast dish, that is very easy to prepare, particularly if you have a slow-cooker.  You can just mix it all together, leave the house and come home to the delicious smell of a home-cooked meal. If you don’t have a slow cooker, the dish is still easy to make, but you’ll need to stay home to oversee the cooking, stirring occasionally and making sure that the beans have enough liquid to absorb. Pre-soaked dried beans are better but do take a little preparation, so for a quick fix, add a can of kidney beans, warm up and you are good to go. The longer this dish cooks on your stove, the better the blended ingredients taste.

2 onions
3 garlic cloves
2 carrots
1 stick celery
1 small green pepper
1 14-oz can of peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lb ground beef (or turkey or buffalo meat)
1 tablespoon thyme
1 cup of dried red kidney beans (or a 14-oz can of cooked beans, rinsed)

Pre-soak the dry beans overnight or at least for 8 hours
Finely dice onions, carrots, celery, green pepper
Take a large and ideally heavy pan and heat the oil.
Add the meat and roast it while continuously stirring so that it gets a nice brown color
Add onions, garlic and then the carrots, celery, pepper and at the very end the tomatoes.
Add the thyme, salt and pepper.
Add the beans (if using pre-soaked) and 1 to 2 cups of water bringing the pot to a boil before reducing the heat, covering the pan and letting it all slowly cook for 1 to 2 hours.
(Note: if you are using a can of beans, add them at the end (without the liquid) and let the pot continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or at least until the beans are hot throughout.)
Depending on your taste, add chili or, if you are serving children, let each person individually spice up their plate.
Best served with some corn bread or a dinner role.

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