Go Back

Chili Con Carne

This hearty, meaty and pungent Chili Con Carne may take a while to cook but is worth every minute of your time! We start out by cooking a large, bone-in chunk of meat pot roast style, then mix in veggies, tomatoes and beans for a full Chili Con Carne experience.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Johan Johansen


For chili beef

  • 1.5 kilos bone-in chuck roast or other tough cut of meat
  • 1 large carrot cut in chunks
  • 2 large shallots halved
  • 4 garlic cloves pealed but left whole
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 small cinnamon stick about three inches long
  • 250 milliliters of dark beer
  • 100 milliliters of good strong coffee
  • a shot of Mezcal or Tequila

Spices (all are to taste)

  • salt
  • pepper
  • a pinch of dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot, smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried chipotle chili
  • 2 tablespoons dried ancho chili

Aromatic vegetables

  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 1 large onion cut into slivers
  • 1 One large carrot finely diced
  • 2 stalks Celery finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 red, bell pepper finely diced
  • 2 Jalapeño chilies seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 Habañero chili finely diced (optional)

Canned goods:

  • 2 cans chopped or crushed tomatoes drained
  • 2 cans "Chili beans"
  • 100 grams concentrated tomato paste


  • 150 grams of good quality bacon
  • 150 milliliters flavorful beef stock
  • 25 grams Quality dark chocolate 70% Cocoa
  • 1 dash Fish sauce


At the beginning of the day:

  1. Sprinkle meat generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Fetch a cast iron pot large enough to fit beef, warm it for a few minutes over high heat, add a splash of cooking oil and brown meat thoroughly on all surfaces.
  3. Turn down heat to medium, remove meat, add carrots, shallots, whole garlic cloves, celery, bay leaves, star anise and cinnamon stick. Dump meat in on top and sprinkle with all the spices.
  4. Add a splash of your morning coffee and 200 milliliters of good, dark beer and a shot of Mezcal. Put on lid and bring pot to a simmer.
  5. Once simmering turn off the burner and place entire pot in a 110C degree oven for at least 4 hours

Four hours in:

  1. Put a sauté pan or similar over medium heat, add in bacon bits and cook until bits are brown and all fat has rendered out.
  2. Turn heat down to low, remove a bit of excess fat if necessary and add diced carrots, diced celery, diced onions, diced bell peppers, Jalapeño, Habañero, and chopped garlic. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook vegetables over low heat for at least an hour, they shouldn’t sizzle or brown, but rather soften and sweeten. If you hear sizzling, turn down the heat.

Four and a half hours in:

  1. Bring a second pan up to medium heat on the stove. Once hot add the large onion in slivers and a big pinch of salt.
  2. Cook stirring somewhat frequently till onions have thoroughly and evenly caramelized, about 30 minutes.
  3. Dump in tomato paste and continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Dump onions and tomato mixture into the pan of sweating vegetables then deglaze the pan with a bit of beef stock to loosen any burned bits and get every bit of flavor out of the pan, dump the stock into the vegetables as well.

Five hours in:

  1. Evacuate your cast iron pot from the oven.
  2. Remove meat to cutting board and strain all liquid into your pot of veggies, discarding bay leaf, star anise, cinnamon stick, and the spent veggies.
  3. Put cast iron pot on medium-low heat on a burner, and commence to chop your meat into small, bite-sized pieces, discarding any bone, fat and remaining connective tissue you run into.
  4. Dump the bite-sized meat back in the cast iron pot along with your now very fragrant aromatic vegetables from the sauté pan, drained tomatoes, a few drops of fish sauce, another splash of beer, beans and a small piece of dark chocolate.
  5. Stir thoroughly but gently to combine and bring everything to a simmer, then back down heat if needed to maintain a slow simmer.
  6. Add lid and simmer for about an hour.
  7. After an hour, remove lid and taste for seasoning: If it’s not hot enough, add more chili, if it’s a bit too hot, add a bit more chocolate for more roundness, or possibly a pinch of sugar. For more earthiness try a bit more cumin or oregano. This is where you’ll shine as a cook.
  8. Give everything one last stir and serve over rice with a dollop of sour cream, a sprig of fresh cilantro and a side of tortilla or tortilla chips and a cool Corona with a wedge of lime.