Thursday, February 24, 2011

An A+ Worthy Meal: Study Group Chili con Carne

Food alone makes a great snack. But it's a meal that brings friends together. Whether it be girls fondue/wine tasting night, homemade popcorn while playing Super Smash Bros on N64, a sugar rush from cupcakes that cause an instantaneous Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys dance party, or maybe just a little bribe to make the study group come to your place in the cold.    

I had a midterm in a class and figured that it couldn't hurt to have a study group with a little cup of chili con carne on the side.  I believe it contributed to the fact we all got A' also helped that the class is called Lost Tribes and Sunken Continents. Got to love electives. 
Michael enjoying some A+ Chili
This recipe is very simple, where you just throw ingredients in the pot and let it simmer. Fool-proof. 

Notes: You will need a food processor to grind the meat just a little. This just adds texture to the dish. 

Grandma's secret: In order to make the sauce/chili less runny, strain the fat out of your beef after you cook it. Once browned, simply take it out of the pot, and put it in a strainer in the sink and run cold water over it. Once the beef is cool to touch, squeeze any liquid out of the chunks. This takes the fat out and makes the chili a little more healthy. 

In addition, this post is a little bit of a special set up! My friend Jennifer had to do a project for her radio class that focused on natural sound. So, she did a clip of me making Chili con Carne. I combined my pictures with her audio to show my process, check the video below.

(warning- this was my first interview, so I was a little nervous!!) 

Chili con Carne 


  • 1 large onions, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 carrots, sliced thin
  • 1.5  pounds boneless beef chuck, ground coarse in the food processor (do a little bit at a time!)
  • 4 tablespoons of chili powder (add more depending how spicy you like it) 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • two 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • a 19-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped

  • Directions 

    1. In a large pot cook the chuck over moderate heat, and breaking up any lumps for 10 minutes, until browned on all sides. Remove and put in strainer. Drain fat.  
    2. Then add onions in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened, add the garlic and the carrots, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chuck and stir. 
    3. Next add the chili powder, the cumin, the paprika, the oregano, and the red pepper flakes and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. 
    4. Add the tomato sauce, the broth, and the vinegar, bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer it, covered, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meat is tender.
    5.  Add the kidney beans, the bell peppers, and salt and black pepper to taste and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the bell peppers are tender.

    Make some meals and memories :) 

    Bon app├ętit,
    Chef Maggie 

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