I love chilly con carne but I have been avoiding making the dish because with small kids spicy dishes don’t fare well. We owe it to our new and wonderful helper this year who said “you must try my chilly con carne!” And we did. It’s toned down on the spices and just perfect at this level of mildness for my 9 and almost 12- year old. You may need to go milder with younger ones. I used a packet of mild seasoning but with younger kids you may want to make your own and really cut down on cayenne and add more paprika instead. I’m not sure if the version I made for our Halloween guests is exactly the same as our helper’s but it tasted close enough. This is an extremely easy to make dish and we don’t seem to get tired of it. Our guests loved it and asked for the recipe. Here it is!
- 2 pounds minced meat
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 big cup crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste (optional)
- 1 can of red beans, drained
- 1 can of red beans in sauce
- chilly seasoning in a packet or make your own combining, to your taste, ground cayenne and/or crushed red pepper flakes, oregano and/or thyme, paprika, cumin, garlic, and onion.
How to make: In a big pan, heat the oil and saute the onions until tender and clear. Add the chopped garlic and saute for another minute. Add the meat and cook until it is brown. Add the wine and cook for a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, and seasoning. Lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with rice and add some shredded cheese on top if you want.
Notes and tips: You can prepare the meat ahead of time and just reheat and add the beans when you are ready to serve. I served with white Jasmine rice but I usually get brown Jasmine rice which is just as good!
Serving: 6 (generous!)
Here’s the chilly served with Jasmine rice.
I loved this photo showing the ingredients of chilly seasonings in proportion to each other. Of course, be your own judge when it comes to cayenne. It’s really hot! So are the crushed red pepper flakes which you can use as a substitute to cayenne.