Chili con carne

Wannabe Mexican, but originally Southern-US food that I have [surprisingly maybe] eaten a lot since I live in Tunis (which is due to someone here who likes it a lot and the fact that I’m not a vegetarian anymore). I usually prepare the very standard version with beans, corn, and minced meat, and like to eat it with rice and optionally a bit of sour cream or grated cheese.

For the chili, chop onions and garlic and fry them in olive oil until tender, then add the minced meat. Keep stiring and fry until the color becomes a greyish brown. Add the tomatoes (whether you use fresh ones or tomato puree) and stir for a bit, then add the beans, corn, chili and spices. Add water and bring to boil, then let it cook at reduced heat till the sauce thickens. If you like, add a bit of beer or red wine. I prefer to add more liquid and let it cook for longer, I have the feeling the taste gets more intense this way. When done, serve with rice, bread or nachos and a drop of sour cream or some cheese if you like.

For three persons, I usually use the following quantities:

3 Tsp olive oil
1 – 2 onions
3 cloves of garlic
200-300 g minced meat
4 large tomatoes (or a small can of about 100g of tomato puree)
400-500 g beans (canned)
250 g corn (canned)
3 to 4 chili peppers
salt
pepper
1 – 2 bay leaves
cumin
4 spices (Tunisian mix)
1/2 tsp sugar

For the rice, I prefer Basmati, which I soak for about half an hour to an hour, then bring it to boil with the same quantity of liquid like the rice and a bit of salt. If I don’t let it soak before, I use a ratio of rice : water of about 1 : 1,25. In both cases, bring the rice to boil, then cover and let it simmer at the lowest flame when using a gas stove, or switch off the heat completely when using an electric stove. Do not open the lid for the first 2/3 of the cooking process, then carefully stir with a fork.
When using long grain rice, don’t let it soak and use a ratio of about 1 : 1,66, then proceed as described above. The cooking process will take a bit longer.

 

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