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Chili con Carne

revised March 2007
makes 2-3 litres, freezes well


Chili Powder
12 dry cayenne chillies (approx. 3 tsp ground)
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano (crushed)
¾ tsp ground cloves

Seasoned Salt
2 Tbsp salt
½ Tbsp sugar
½ Tbsp paprika
½ tsp mace
½ tsp celery salt
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp mustard powder

Blend each spicemix well (use your coffee spice grinder) and store in the dark in an airtight spice jar.


According to Sally and Martin Stone in The Brilliant Bean, most dried beans double in volume and weight after being soaked and cooked. Soybeans and chickpeas can triple.

"As a general rule, 1 cup (8oz) of dried beans increases to 2 to 2½ c (1 to 1¼ lb) of cooked beans. One cup of dried beans is usually enough to serve four as a side dish."

... (1 lb = 453.6 gm)

  1. The day before you are going to make the chili con carne, sort (to remove stones) and wash the beans well. Place them in a bowl large enough for the beans to triple. Add plenty of cold water - the beans will expand - add a little more water than you think is necessary. Cover the bowl and leave to soak overnight.
  2. In the morning of the day you are making the chili, remove any beans that are floating. Drain and rinse the beans. Discard the soaking water. Put the drained beans in a big pot and cover with fresh cold water. DO NOT ADD SALT. Bring to a boil. Immediately turn down to a low simmer. Simmer 1 to 2 hours partially covered. After an hour of cooking, check to see if beans are the consistancy (in terms of softness) you like. If not, simmer a little longer. When they are the right consistancy, add salt. This stops the beans from getting much softer.
  3. In a LARGE pot, saute whole chilis in oil. When they are dark brown, add one onion, garlic and 8-10 mushrooms. Saute til soft.
  4. Add chili powder and stir for about a minute.
  5. Add meat. Brown well.
  6. When meat is well browned, add tomatoes and beans, including any cooking liquid.
  7. Stir in the rest of ingredients. Simmer, covered for about an hour. Taste for seasoning. If it's too hot, add a little more sugar. If it isn't hot enough, add a little more chili powder.
  8. If it seems like there is too much liquid, take the lid off and simmer some more. The longer this sits, the better it gets because the flavours meld together.

chili con carneServe with cornmeal muffins and a green vegetable.

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ejm (aka llizard) 2000,2002,2007
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