Beyond Baked Beans – Chili Con Carne

Like so many things in my life these days, I learned about the “Beyond Baked Beans ” contest on twitter.  The concept is simple – blog a simple staple recipe that you made while at university to help new university students to start off with an easy bag of simple staple recipes when they head off in the fall.  And the prize is awesome – a blender.  Yes, I want the blender.  In particular I want to make the Gatorade Recovery Smoothie I read about (yes on Twitter, although I may leave out the alcohol!)

One of my all time favourite university recipes, still part of my regular comfort food cooking today, is chili con carne.  It took me ages to come up with the right spice blend that replicates my mom’s chili, but I did, and this is what I am sharing (mostly by photos) today.


Pack of ground beef
Bell Pepper (any colour)
Can of Kidney Beans
Can of Tomatoes (I prefer the already chopped tomatoes)
Chili Powder
Red Pepper Flakes



Total cooking time:  35-45 minutes.

The How Tos…

1.  Heat oil in a pan




2.  Place ground beef in pan, season with salt and pepper.  If using gas, the flame should be medium.  Leave to brown.



3.  Meanwhile, chop the onion and pepper.



4.  By this point the beef should be browned on one side.  Break it up with a wooden spoon and then add the chopped onion and peppers.



5.  Now add the spices.  Add 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, half a teaspoon of oregano, and half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.



6.  Stir through the spices to ensure they are mixed in well with beef/onion/pepper mix.



7.  Rinse the kidney beans.  Then add the kidney beans and the can of tomatoes to the mix.



8.  Stir through and add one can of water (use the tins from the tomatoes and fill with water – an easy way to measure and to use whatever is left in the can too).  Bring to simmer for at least 15 minutes.



9.  Serve over rice, or over spaghetti (a Cincinnati favourite).  Top with grated cheese, onions, corn – however you prefer!  This serves four easily, any leftovers can be frozen into single servings and reheated – it is the perfect make ahead quick meal.

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