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It’s disgracefully cold here today, especially considering that spring officially starts in two weeks. With the temperature at around -20C today, I just can’t see that the crocusses are going to start popping up any time soon.
So what better way to comfort ourselves but with a big bowl of chili con carne, steamed broccoli with cheddar cheese and cheddar cheese cornmeal biscuits? Maybe the cold weather isn’t so bad after all….
I know I’ve said it before but I just can’t help myself from saying it just one more time: I really do make the best chili con carne!
It’s true that I don’t do a lot of the cooking. Sure, I make all our bread, quick pasta dishes, the occasional cake…. But T is the chef here. He really is the best. And I usually bow to him when he tastes something and says it needs just a little of this or that.
However, I will NOT let him fool around with my chili con carne. If I have to go out, I know he’ll sneak over to the pot and want to add something. So I leave ingredients on the counter and give express instructions that if he is going to add anything, he can only use THOSE ingredients.
So what is the secret to making really great chili con carne? I think there are three main reasons that our chili is so great:
- I blacken whole dried cayenne chillies.
- The meat is really browned – dark brown in some places.
- I make my own chili powder.
- (Hey!! that’s four!) I do not use canned beans and generally include at least two kinds of beans. Today’s chili con carne has kidney, black, Romano, and navy beans. The chilli would probably be almost as good if I used canned beans but there is a wonderful sweetness to beans that have been soaked overnight and cooked to just the right consistency and then salted to arrest the softening. Canned beans are often so mushy and flat tasting, not to mention, overly salted.
- (Hey!!! that’s five!!) I make the chili in the morning and leave it on a very slow simmer for several hours. The flavours meld and it just gets better and better.
Here is our recipe: