Friday, January 22, 2010

Chili Con Carne

I have many different chili recipes that I made. I have a couple of vegetarian ones, a couple with meat but this is the first one that I've tried with a chuck roast. I make chili many different ways but one thing they all have in common is the beans. I love chili with beans.

I saw this recipe on Simply Recipes and knew I had a chuck roast in the freezer just waiting to be brought to daylight. I also had JUST a teaspoon left of chipotle chili powder left so it was perfect.  I changed a bit but basically stuck to her recipe.  I usually like more beans in my chili but held back so the meat could shine in this one. I had to add SOME beans though, come on! 

 Except for the bacon fat. I try so hard to de-fat my recipes and make them healthier and lower calorie but she wanted me to add not only bacon but 2 tbsp. of bacon fat (gasp!) to the pan! I didn't know if I could do it. I deliberated. It would have been fine without it of course but bacon and bacon fat adds so much flavor, this I can't deny. In the end (sigh), I went with the bacon fat. I did it. The chili did taste good. The flavor was spot on perfect, it was spicy but not so much that it burned your taste buds or made you running for the water cooler.

 It was more time consuming than some of my chili's but certainly delicious and very flavorful.

The corn muffin was from They are offering free corn muffins with purchase. So I bought a ton of vita tops a few weeks ago and got these free corn muffins. They are excellent, very sweet. If you haven't tried them, I totally recommend them. They are super filling, incredibly tasty, healthy and only 100 calories! The chocolate ones are spectacular and even the multibran ones are fantastic. And I'm not even getting paid to advertise for them, I actually like them that much. :-)

Note: As with many chili recipes, this rocks even more the next day. Really, this is awesome chili.

Chili Con Carne
Adapted from Simply Recipes

2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. ground oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. ground coriander seeds
3 tbsp. water
4 strips of bacon, bacon fat reserved
2 1/2 lb. chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno chili peppers, seeded and minced
1 14 oz. can of whole tomatoes (I used diced tomatoes)
2 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 14 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in a couple of tbsp. water

In a small bowl, mix the first 6 spices. Mix in 3 tbsp. water so that spices form a light paste. Set aside. Cook the bacon until crisp. Pour bacon fat in a separate container, reserve. When bacon cools, crumble it into smaller pieces. Add back 1 tbsp. bacon fat. Working in 2 batches so that you don't crowd the beef, brown the beef cubes on all sides, lightly salting as you cook the beef. Place beef in slow cooker when it is done. Do this in 2 batches so you can get the beef nice and browned.

Add another tbsp. bacon fat to the pan. Add the chopped onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno, cook about 1 minute more. Add the chili paste and cook for about 2 - 3 minutes. Add onion chili spice mixture to the beef in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the bacon, tomatoes, beans, water, lime juice and sugar. Heat chili on high until it starts to bubble and then switch to low. Cook on low for 2-3 hours or until ready to serve.

Mix the cornstarch with a little water to dissolve an add to the chili to thicken it. Add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings. You may want to add a bit more sugar depending on taste. You can add more chili powder to add more heat if desired too. Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips.

Total calories = 3305
8 big cups = 413 calories per cup

1 cup chili + 1 corn muffin = 513 calorie dinner.

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.


  1. I trust the recipes over at Simply Recipes implicitly so you probably made the right decision to add the bacon fat. The things we do for delicious food....

    I've never had chili con carne but this looks fabulous!

  2. Just 500 calories for chili con carne. Another similar healthy recipe for it can be found at

  3. i can so use a good chili husband is a big fan and he gets so annoyed with me because i don't make a good one (according to him!)...i can't wait to try this. thank you for hooking up to TNSC!

  4. Debbi,
    Thank you so much for bringing your great chili over to The Cottage for The Texas Star Chili Cook Off. You are so kind to bring the Chili Pot with you for your blog. Hope to see you again real soon.

  5. Congratulation's Debbi! You are the WINNER of the With Beans Category of the Texas Star Chili Cook Off. Your Chili was just wonderful and the judges just loved it.Come over to The Cottage and pick up your Chili Pot and email me with your information and I will have your "Miz Helen's Kitchen Table" Cook Book on it's way to you! Thank you so much for bringing your great chili to the Cook Off!
    Best Wishes,
    Miz Helen