Chili con carne most likely conjures up thoughts of a specific taste or recipe. However, there are a remarkable number of ways to prepare this dish.
When thinking of chili con carne recipes, probably a specific taste comes to mind. There are favorite ways of cooking chili and of serving it. Actually, there are quite a number of different ways to make and serve chili con carne, probably accounting for so many chili cook offs that take place.
Different Ways to Make Chili
Chili con carne is a comfort food for many people, and it is hard to imagine it any other way than the way one is used to eating it. There are however quite a variety of chili recipes calling for beans, without beans, with meat, poultry, a variety of vegetables, vegetarian chili and so on. There are many ingredients to switch up when making chili con carne. Here are some ideas:
The base of the chili will usually be one or a combination of these:
- Ground beef
- Chunks of beef
- Ground pork
- Chunks of Sausage
- Chicken – chunks or ground
- Turkey – chunks or ground
- Wild game – buffalo, elk, moose
- Vegetarian – a combination of beans and vegetables
There is some kind of tomato base in chili:
- Canned tomato soup
- Whole tomatoes – canned or fresh
- Tomato Sauce
- Salsa Sauce
These are some basic, though not limited, flavorings added:
- Vinegar – white or red
- Hot sauce
- Sugar – brown or white
- chocolate – cocoa or pieces of baking chocolate
- Chopped onion
- Minced garlic
- Bacon fried
Spices, as well as chili powder, that are often added:
- Onion powder
- Garlic Powder
Vegetables often added into chili con carne:
- chick peas and potatoes and carrots
- Beans – kidney, pork and beans, black, etc.
Cooking Chili Con Carne
The meat is fried, and then a tomato base, flavorings and spices are added. Vegetables are added just a bit before serving so they are heated but not mushy. Chili can be prepared in a pot on the stove, in a slow cooker, or over a campfire. Whatever method is chosen, simmering the dish for at least a few hours will give the ingredients a chance to mingle and bring out the best flavor possible.
Serving the Chili
There are also a variety of ways in which Chili can be served. Here are some popular examples:
In a bowl accompanied by bread, toast, garlic bread, crackers
Over rice, noodles, a baked potato
With shredded cheese, grated onion, sour cream, guacamole
There are a number of different recipes for making chili con carne. Some recipes will seem familiar and some hard to imagine. Whatever variety of ingredients added to chili, there is always another way to make it. Chili or chili con carne has become a dish that can be made so many different ways and to suit so many tastes, that there is an abundance of chili con carne recipes.
Realizing there are so many different ways to make chili, how slow cooking is the key to flavor, and the variety of ways it can be served, it is clear to see that a simple dish can really become quite versatile in its ingredients, yet remain a simple dish to make and serve.