Linda’s Chili Con Carne – Best Chili Con Carne Recipe

Contest-Winning Chile Con Carne Recipe!
Stovetop, Slow Cooker, and Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Instructions

I have won two local chili contest with my chili con carne recipe, including one that had a Texan on the judging committee.  If a Texan can give my chili a “thumbs up,” it must be great!  Remember there are no beans in a true Texas chili, but I like to add some beans, but not too much.

Chili Con Carne

Stove Top Instructions

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Instructions

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Instructions

This is one of those recipes that I just do.  I have estimated the amount of each ingredient I have used in making this recipe below.  If you want to add more or less of an ingredient (or even leave one out), feel free to do so.  It is very hard to “wreck” a chili con carne.

You can pick your favorite cooking method or whatever suits your mood for the day. Instructions have been provided to cook in a Dutch oven on the stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. For the Instant Pot pressure cooker instructions, I have provided cooking options and times to use either canned or dried beans.

Learn about the history and legends of Chili, Chili Con Carne.

 

 

Linda’s Chili Con Carne – The Best Chili Recipe:

Linda's Chili Con Carne - The Best Chili Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Slow Cooker Time: Low Heat - 8-10 hours High Heat 4-5 hours ** Pressure Cooker Time: With dried beans: 1 hour 45 minutes With canned beans 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 to 3 pounds lean ground beef 
1 or 2 large chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried ground cumin or to taste
1 tablespoon dried oregano or to taste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1-2 fresh chile peppers, seeds removed & diced (jalepeno or serrano)*
Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
3 to 4 cups tomato puree, tomato sauce, or fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or a combination of all three)
2 cups red wine**
2 to 3 (14 1/2 ounce) cans beef broth***
1 to 2 tablespoons molasses****
2 cans black beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Chopped green onions

* If you prefer your chili spicy, keep the seeds in, the chili peppers will mellow while cooking and still retain a nice spicy build up.  Remove the seeds to keep your chili mild and more family friendly.

** Red wine can be omitted and replaced with beef stock or water.  

*** Water may also be substituted for some of the liquid.  

**** Molasses helps cut down the acidity of the tomatoes.  Honey may also be substituted.

 

Instructions:

Stove Top Method: 

Linda's Chili

In a large soup pot or cast-iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute ground beef and onions until the meat becomes gray in color; drain off fat and discard.  Add garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, chili peppers, salt, pepper, and stir together. Saute for about 30 seconds to allow flavors to become fragrant. Next add tomato sauce, red wine, and beef broth.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, approximately 3 to 4 hours, stirring often.  Note: Additional beef broth, water, or wine may be added as needed.

Add molasses to taste to cut down the acidity of the tomatoes.  Add beans and continue to simmer another 30 minutes.  NOTE: During the last 30 minutes of cooking, do a lot of tasting and adjust seasoning to taste.

For maximum flavor, cool chili and refrigerate overnight so flavors will mellow as chili is best made 1 day ahead to allow the flavors time to marry.

When ready to serve, remove top layer of solidified fat, reheat chili over low heat, and serve in large individual bowls.

Set out garnishes for your chili (some chopped green onions, sour cream and shredded sharp cheddar cheese make great topping).

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

 

Slow Cooker (Crock Pot) Method:

Slow Cooker Chili

Preheat slow cooker.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until browned; drain off fat and discard.  Add onion and garlic and saute until the onions become soft and translucent, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.  Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, chili peppers, salt, and pepper.  Stir into beef mixture and cook for a couple minutes longer.

Add the cooked beef mixture to the slow cooker along with tomato sauce, red wine, beef broth, molasses, and beans.  Stir together to combine and cover with slow cooker lid.  Cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours or high heat for 4 to 5 hours.

Serve in bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings.

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

 

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Method:

Chili Con Carne in the Instant Pot pressure cooker

Important Note:  If using a 6 quart Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, I would recommend cutting the recipe ingredients in half to fit everything in the pot. For an 8 quart Instant Pot pressure cooker, the ingredient amounts will work just fine. Always make sure that the Instant Pot pressure cooker is no more than 1/2 filled with cooking with beans.

  

Dried Bean Preparation:
1/2 pound dried kidney beans (for 6 quart Instant Pot pressure cooker) adjust to 1 pound dried kidney beans for 8 quart Instant Pot pressure cooker.
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
3 cups water (6-quart pressure cooker) - 6 cups water (8-quart pressure cooker)

Chili Con Carne -dried beans in Instant Pot pressure cooker

Add dried beans, onion quarters and water to the inner pot. Cover with lid and close lid to seal. Make sure the pressure valve is also closed to the sealing position. Press the Manual button, then press the Adjust button to set the pressure setting to High-Pressure. Set the cooking time for 45 minutes.  After the cooking time is completed, let the pressure naturally release (this could take up to 30 minutes). Note - It's essential when pressure cooking dried beans to allow the pressure to naturally release so the beans will soften properly and reduce gas build up in the beans. Once the pressure has all released and the pressure pin has dropped, press the Keep Warm/Cancel button and open the lid. Drain off all the liquid and discard the onion quarters.

Chili Con Carne-Instant pot pressure cooker with cooked beans

 

Chili Preparation:
I personally find it easier to brown a large quantity of meat and onions in a skillet on the stove, while waiting for the pressure to release on the cooked beans. Alternatively, you can placed the cooked beans in another large bowl and set aside. Rinse out the inner pot and wipe clean. Brown in your Instant Pot using the Saute mode, then press the Plus button "+" on the control panel to adjust the heat to the hottest setting. Once you are finished sauteeing in the Instant Pot, press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to turn off. Add the cooked beans to the pot with the meat mixture (see instructions below) and proceed with the remaining chili preparation instructions.. For this recipe, I will provide stovetop browning directions (shown below).

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until browned; drain off fat and discard.  Add onion and saute until the onions become soft and translucent (approximately 3 to 4 minutes). Next add garlic, chili peppers, cumin, oregano, chili powder, chili peppers, salt, and pepper.  Stir into beef mixture and cook for 30 more seconds for spices to become fragrant.

Add the cooked beef mixture to the cooked kidney beans in the inner pot.

Chili Con Carne-Instant pot pressure cooker with cooked beans and meat

Next add tomato sauce, red wine, beef broth, molasses.  Note- If you are using canned beans instead of dried beans, now is the time to add the drained beans. Stir everything together to combine and cover with lid.  Close the lid to seal. Make sure the pressure valve is also closed to the sealing position. Press the Manual button, then press the Adjust button to set the pressure setting to High-Pressure. Set the cooking time for 10 minutes.  After the cooking time is completed, open the pressure valve to Quick Release the pressure.

Open the lid and adjust seasonings to taste.

Chili Con Carne in Instant Pot pressure cooker

Flavor Tip: For maximum flavor, cool chili and refrigerate overnight so flavors will mellow as chili is best made 1 day ahead to allow the flavors time to marry. When ready to serve, remove the top layer of solidified fat, reheat chili over low heat, and serve in large individual bowls.

Set out garnishes for your chili (some chopped green onions, sliced jalapenos, sour cream and shredded sharp cheddar cheese make great toppings).

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

https://whatscookingamerica.net/Soup/LindaChili.htm

 

Watch a video to learn to make Linda’s Contest Winning Chili Con Carne

 

Contest Winning Chili Con Carne - Best Chili Con Carne Recipe

 

Chili Making Hints and Tips:

Too salty:  Chili that is too salty may be saved by boiling a peeled potato in the pot of chili (the potato will absorb a lot of the salt).

If your chili comes out too thin, either:

  • Continue to simmer the chili longer until more liquid is reduced.
  • Add some instant mashed potatoes.
  • Add some yellow corn flour.  This will also help absorb salt.  Simply make a corn flour and water slurry, and add it in until the chili reaches the consistency is you want.
  • Masa Harina is another thickener that works very well in chili.  It will add a slightly sweet hint to the chili, but it makes the consistency very nice.
  • Toss a grating of bitter chocolate into chili to give it body and mellow the flavors.

Famous and Not-So Famous Chili Recipes:


Arnold’s “Old Leatherthroat” Chili Con Carne

Jack Arnold says, “I have been a chili lover ever since boyhood.  I didn’t know then why I loved chili – I just did –  Now that I know more about chili, I realize how lucky I was to get hooked on it early in life.”


Bowl Of Red – Classic Chili

The influence behind this chili recipe came from my maternal grandfather, who when working with the Santa Fe Railroad learned how to prepare it from the “cookies,” or trail cooks.  It has won numerous chili cook-offs and is one of the really true original chili recipes.

Chasen’s Famous Chili

Writing to Dave Chasen, owner of Chasen’s Restaurant:  “The chili is so good.  All gone now.  Please send me ten quarts of your wonderful chili in dry ice to 448 Via Appia pignatelli. – Love and kisses, Elizabeth Taylor.”  – Elizabeth Taylor, on location in Rome, 1962

Chili H. Allen Smith

The first chili cook-off known to modern man took place in 1967 in uninhabited Terlingua, Texas (once a thriving mercury-mining town of 5,000 people).  It was a two-man cook-off between Texas chili champ Wick Fowler (a Dallas and Denton newspaper reporter) and H. Allen Smith (humorist and author), which ended in a tie – but I like to add some beans, but not too much.

Pedernales River Chili

This recipe is President Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States, chili recipe.  Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson had cards printed with the LBJ’s “Pedernales River Chili” recipe. She is quoted as saying, “It has been almost as popular as the government pamphlet on the care and feeding of children.”

Spicy Chili with Peppers
This delicious Spicy Chile with Peppers recipe and photo were shared with my by Karen Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA.  This version contains bison and beef.

Tolbert’s Original Bowl of Red

Recipe by Frank X. Tolbert, from his book, A Bowl of Red.Frank Tolbert founded the Terlingua International Chili Championship in Terlingua, Texas and owned a chain of chili parlors in Dallas, Texas.

 

Related Recipes:

Comments and Reviews

6 Responses to “Linda’s Chili Con Carne – Best Chili Con Carne Recipe”

  1. Kathy Beattie

    That really was the best chili I have ever tasted!

    Reply
  2. Leon

    When you say “a lot of” wine – is that like replacing a cup of the broth or two cups or ?

    Reply
    • Linda Stradley

      I basically add wine to taste as it simmers. Depending on the taste of the chili, I can add just a little to a lot of wine. I add the wine as it is cooking by tasting the chili and then adding additional wine! Cooking the chili at a simmer (all day), as I sometimes do, I taste and add all day. I sometimes add upto a whole bottle of wine when cooking a large batch. Remember, the alcohol basically cooks out. – Linda Stradley

      Reply
  3. Joe Andros

    I have been making chili for almost 50 years and this recipe is by far the most universally enjoyed. Whenever I make a batch, those who taste it immediately ask for the recipe. For those who enjoy more heat, I would recommend 2 soprano peppers, a jalapeño and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. The wine and molasses are must. I used 3 cans of Bushe’s beans (drained and rinsed) one dark kidney, one light kidney and one chili bean. This is the only leftover than gets eaten daily until gone.

    Be sure to refrigerate one to three days before serving. It gets better every day it remains in the frigerator. Once you dig into it, it will be gone.

    This is a crowd pleaser that can be made several days in advance. A guaranteed winner of a recipe,

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  4. Gina

    the recipe author keeps adding substitution ideas for ingredients, such water in place of the beef broth or wine, which totally changes the taste of the recipe that won the contest….????

    Reply
    • Whats Cooking America

      Each time my Mom make’s her chili she always slightly tweaks the recipe depending on what she is in the mood to try or what she has on hand. Still tastes amazing. Also, some people don’t drink alcohol and need a substitution option.

      Reply

Leave a Reply