Mom’s Chili Con Carne

Cooking in the southwestern states of America was influenced by the Hopi, Papago and Pueblo tribes. Originally this dish was simply meat stewed with a combination of oregano, cumin, sugar, paprika and sweet peppers. Today sour cream, green onions and cheddar make a colorful splash on saucy chili. Chili powder is a seasoning blend containing ground dried chiles, oregano, cumin, and coriander. Canned tomatoes are convenient and easily cut up using a kitchen shears once they are in the pan.

Chili Con Carne

    1 pound lean ground beef
    1 tablespoon corn oil
    1 cup chopped yellow onion
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    1 teaspoon garlic salt
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    ¼ teaspoon pepper
    Pinch sugar
    1 (27-ounce) can low-salt kidney beans, drained
    2 (14 ½-ounce) cans Mexican-style tomatoes, undrained
    2 dried red chiles (chile de árbol)
    2 garlic cloves, crushed in a garlic press
    2 dried bay leaves


    Shredded cheddar cheese
    Sliced green onions or chives
    Sour cream

1.  In a 5-quart nonstick sauté pan, brown beef in oil over
     medium heat until very crumbly. The secret is getting the
     meat as crumbly and as separated as possible. My husband
     is better at this than I am, so this is his job.

2.  Add onion and green pepper; cook for 5 minutes.

3.  Stir in cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, oregano, pepper,      
     sugar, kidney beans, tomatoes, chiles, garlic and bay leaves.

4.  Simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.

5.  Serve topped with cheese, onions or chives, and sour cream.

     Makes 4 servings