Chilli con Carne

Chilli con Carne

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 680 g (1.5 lbs) very lean ground beef
  • 450 g (1 lbs) ground pork
  • 800 ml (28 oz) diced canned tomatoes
  • 400 ml (1 2/3 c.) beef broth
  • 540 ml (19 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 540 ml (19 oz) can white kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1.5 Tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 250 ml (1 cup) beer


On stove: Using a heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat, then add the shallots and garlic, sautéing until softened. Add the beef and pork, stirring regularly, and breaking apart large chunks, until cooked through. Add the rest of the ingredients, turn the temperature down and simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the corn within the last 5 minutes.

In Instant Pot: Set the pot to Sauté, add the oil and sauté the shallots and garlic until softened. Add the beef and pork,stirring regularly, and breaking apart large chunks, until cooked through. Add the rest of the ingredients, set the pot to Meat/Stew, and close under sealing for 15-25 minutes. Flip back to Sauté and add the corn, stirring for a few minutes until the corn is cooked.

Once done, serve with preferred toppings, like avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

And now for the details…

Even though it’s already May, we have been hit up with some pretty chilly weather. And so I figured what better meal for chilly than… chilli. Oh I am soooo witty *rolling eyes*.

This recipe was interesting to measure and document for me, since chilli is something I have been making sans recipe since I was kid. When I was little, I would be so insistent on “helping” while my mom cooked. When she cooked chilli, it was never off a recipe card, and it has become the same for me. A bit of an eyeball on quantities, cook a little longer, taste, adjust.

The bit of research I did on chilli was interesting. There is a lot of debate on the origins of the well known stew. Whether the true origin of chilli was as a pack meal, the angelic vision of Sister Mary Ágreda, or the preparation of defeated conquistadors by the Aztecs (ewwwwwwww), it seems as though the debate will continue. After learning more, I also apologize to the hardcores on the addition of beans, which I understand is also a matter of huge debate. But the simple fact that I am spelling it “chilli”, not “chili” is probably a clear indication that we are pretty far north from the origin (which has been determined as northern Mexico/southern Texas), and since I am Canadian, of course I have to apologize at some point here! All in all, chilli has become a staple for many, with chilli competitions across the globe, canned chilli being readily available in most grocery stores, and several pop culture chilli references (El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer, anyone?), it is a popular dish that will likely never be agreed upon, but readily enjoyed by all.

For this version, I have given instructions for both on the stove or in an Instant Pot. It is typically a stove dish for me, but I wanted to see how this did in the Instant Pot to see if I could get that “long simmer” flavour in a short period of time. It seems to have worked out quite well! For the purpose of these detailed instructions, I used the Instant Pot, but following the instruction on the stove would work just as well, it will just need a bit more simmering time.

Let’s start by sautéing the shallots and garlic in our pot (either Sauté setting for Instant, or medium-high heat on the stove). Once the shallots have softened, add the meats, sautéing until they are mostly cooked through, and stirring regularly to break the ground meat apart so it does not form into large chunks.

Next, we add the tomatoes, beans (drain and rinse them first!), spices, and Worcestershire sauce. Give it all a good stir and make sure everyone in there are close, personal friends. If in the Instant Pot, close it up on Sealing, set it to Meat/Stew and cook for 15-25 minutes. If on the stove, turn the heat down to a simmer, and let it cook for 45-60 minutes, and stir occasionally so that the meat does not burn on the bottom of the pot.

If you are using the Instant Pot, once the pressure cook is done, set the pot back to Sauté. Add the corn and cook until the corn is cooked. This should only take 3-5 minutes. I found this corn and jalapeño mix at my grocery store and thought it would be a great add to chilli! The jalapeños added their slight heat and flavour, which probably would have been lost if added at the beginning and stewed. If you are cooking on the stove, this step would happen in the last 5-ish minutes of cooking.

Now that your chilli is ready, ladle into a bowl, top with your toppings of choice (cheese, avocado and sour cream (or crème fraîche!) are the preferred options in our house) and enjoy!

Happy eating.

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