The Best Beef Chili: Gourmet’s Chili Con Carne with Sour Cream Cheddar Biscuits

I first heard about this chili through Smitten Kitchen, an excellent blog written by a New Yorker in her tiny kitchen. Turns out, it is a much heralded recipe from Gourmet, originally published in 1990. I made this chili for the Superbowl and it was as delicious as advertised. I added a jalapeño and a habanero pepper which gave it nice heat on the end.

For me, this is the perfect beef chili, bold flavored, tempered with the freshness of green bell pepper, and the sweetness of carrots. The biscuits were also excellent and very easy to make. Serve with diced pickled jalapeños, shredded cheddar, sliced scallions and sour cream.

Chili con Carne

Ingredients
(Serves 6 generously)
2 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tblsp minced garlic
2 carrots, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
3 lbs ground beef chuck
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tblsp ground cumin
2 tblsp paprika
1 tblsp crumbled dried oregano
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce or tomato puree (about 2 cups)
1 1/4 cups beef broth
3 tblsp cider vinegar
1 19-oz can kidney beans (1 3/4 cups), drained and rinsed
2 green bell peppers, chopped

1. In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over moderately low heat and cook the onions in it for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, carrots, jalapeño and habenero and cook for one minute more.

2. Raise the heat to medium and add the beef, stirring and breaking up any lumps until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth and vinegar and simmer the chili, covered for 35 to 45 minutes.

3. Add the kidney beans, bell peppers, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, until the bell peppers are tender. Serve with Sour Cream and Cheddar
Biscuits and with garnishes of you choice (I put out sliced scallions, diced pickled jalapeños, shredded cheddar, and sour cream).

Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits with Pickled Jalapeños
(Makes 6)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tblsp cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 lb sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tblsp drained and chopped pickled jalapeños
1 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or rub them in with your fingertips until well-combined. Stir in the cheddar, jalapeños and sour cream until the mixture forms a sticky dough. On a well-floured surface, pat it out into a 1/2-inch thickness and use a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut into six rounds.

3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden on top.

  • avi rothman

    >can i make this with kosher meat?

  • Peer Pedersen

    >Definately First on my list…I'll let you know how it works out ;)