Friday, June 11, 2010

Chili Con Carne

With Guacamole and Tortillas, Chile Con Carne is a Tex-Mex recipe (I would be ashamed to call it Mexican) that has made it to our home. I had never eaten red beans as a child even if their white-or-green colored cousins are a pillar of French recipes such as Cassoulet. Even Coco de Paimpol, a second-cousin of Cranberry Beans, have made it to French farmers' markets! But red or black beans? Nope.
As Tex-Mex restaurants opened in large cities and Tex-Mex food made it to some supermarkets, I am sure that we could find canned processed Chili con Carne in France today (I will double check for you one of these days). As usual, I am reluctant at purchasing something that I can make myself with healthier results (no added salts, no soy-based ingredients or other agents) and at a better price! I have therefore developed my own Chili Con Carne recipe. Some of you, especially from Texas, will disagree with this recipe. And that will be fine with me! I just think that Chili Con Carne is one of these recipes that is best adapted by the person who makes it depending on taste and available ingredients. As a French casual cook, I love to use shallots in my Chili Con Carne! Oui, des échalottes (French are the biggest eaters of shallots in the world so that you know!) The best indications that it's good enough are that 1) my children always want a second serving, 2) my daughter always makes sure that she can have some in her lunchbox the following day, and 3)my husband wants some for his lunch the next day as well! As a result, I always make more than we need for one meal and I know that it will eaten! Even with the échalottesBon Appétit!
- 2 small shallots minced
- 1 small green and 1 small red bell peppers, minced
- 2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 cup of cooked red beans (canned or freshly cooked)
- Cumin Seeds
- Olive Oil, salt, hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
- Grounded cumin, paprika and coriander (optional)
- A few sprigs of fresh cilantro

  • In a large pan, over medium heat, saute the shallots in olive oil and cumin seeds
  • Add the pepper and saute some more
  • Add the meat and saute the meat in the vegetables
  • Add the tomatoes and lower the heat and cook15- 20 minutes until the tomatoes are fully cooked.
  • Add the red beans and cook for another 5 minutes until the beans are fully cooked and warm
  • Season with salt, black pepper, extra grounded cumin, paprika, coriander, and hot pepper sauce to taste
  • Serve with fresh minced cilantro on top
My Personal Comments
  • I have made it with Buffalo meat as well
  • If you find that the tomatoes do not add enough liquid, you could use some tomato sauce
  • I have used canned beans when in a hurry.


  1. Hi Gaelle, I can confirm that chile con carne is available on the French grocery store shelf these days. It's kind of scary stuff though - you never sure what you're biting into to. The kids started balking at it so I stopped buying it. Your right - homemade is so much better and truly chili is easy.

    And oh my goodness - chicken feet!? Can't question you on that one

  2. AnonymousJune 15, 2010

    Try it over rice. A great excuse to pig out on crusty, buttered bread. Have you ever cooked the New Orleans classic "Red beans and rice"?

  3. Wow, buffalo meat - great idea! I have had bison burgers but haven't experimented much - I am going to give it a try the next time I make chili!