Recipe: Chilli con carne

I recently made Chilli con carne for the first time and was quite surprised how good it ended up being. Usually it takes a few iterations until I converge to something I'm happy with, but the Chilli I really nailed the very first time!

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Dice the onions and the garlic and gently fry them with some olive oil in a large pot.

Chop the fresh chilli peppers. I used JalapeƱo peppers since I wanted something with a moderate heat level, but you can really use any kind of pepper you like. You can even go for bell peppers if you don't like hot food. I would recommend removing the seeds from the chillis before chopping them: The seeds and the interior parts of the fruit contain the most capsaicin and you don't want things to be too hot right away. Whatever you do, observe the usual precautions when working with chilli peppers and don't touch anyone's mucous membranes before washing your hands (with soap)!

Add the chopped peppers and the ground beef to the pot. Crank up the heat and stir regularly. Add the cumin, cinnamon, and paprika powder. You are ready for the next step when the beef starts to brown and stick to the bottom of the pot.

Add the diced tomatos and keep up the heat until everything starts to boil. Reduce the heat to a minimum and add salt, pepper and the chocolate. Now comes the most important part: Put the lid on the pot and let it simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. I can not stress enough how important waiting is: If you taste the Chilli now you will taste the individual ingredients and it will taste like a weird mixture of tomatos and chocolate. It really takes some time to blend all the different flavors together. You can even see the difference:

Good things come to those who wait ...

The picture on the right was taken 1.5 hours after the left. I added the corn and the kidney beans after 1 hour. They only need to heat up, so half an hour is plenty of time. Add as much chilli powder als you like. Chilli powder has quite a different taste than fresh chillis and I think it's really nice to have both in there.

And that's it. Serves four people but you can freeze leftovers if there are any. I recommend to eat it with some tortilla chips and a bit of sour cream. Enjoy!

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