The Best Chili Con Carne on Earth! AND A Lodge Cast Iron #Giveaway! 10-26-15

Just like good gumbo, everyone has their favorite chili recipe. Texas beef with no beans, white chicken chili, even vegetarian, but my famous chili is a flavor packed version with black beans for added fiber, and to create texture.

Since our kids were little and heading out to trick or treat with my husband pulling them along in their red radio flyer wagon, chili has been on our menu Halloween night. All of the parents would end up at our house for a bowl of warm chili and a cold beer, while costumed little ones ran through the yard gripping a chili dog in one hand and swinging their loot of sweets in the other.

Though our children are now grown and out of the house,  the doorbell still rings non stop come all hallows eve, and the spicy beef stew still bubbles away on the stove top, with an open invitation for friends and family to drop by.

Whether Halloween, a rainy day, or the Super Bowl, it’s hard to beat a bowl of comforting chili topped with freshly grated cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream on top!

Chili Con Carne #30AEats

My Famous Chili

(Feeds 6 to 8. Double the recipe for a crowd.)

Like all great stews, the flavors of my famous chili develop as this dish sits, therefore, go ahead and make a pot of chili up a day or two ahead of time and rewarm it to serve, a well thought out game plan!


4 tablespoons good olive oil

2 full pounds ground beef (Ground turkey breast for a healthier version).

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon oregano powder

1 (12-ounce) bottle favorite beer (darker gives stronger flavor. I like to use local craft beer. For keto/low carb stick to low carb beer. Omit if Gluten Free)

1 (15-ounce) can black or kidney beans rinsed and drained. Omit for low carb/keto or FODMAP).

1 (28-ounce) can whole plum San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand

1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth, plus more if needed

1 1ounces dark chocolate

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional, but highly recommended)

1 tablespoon favorite hot sauce (Crystal, Frank’s, or Tobasco)

2 tablespoons Heinz No Sugar Ketchup

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Serve with the optional toppings of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sliced scallions, sliced avocado, chopped jalapeno, and sour cream. And, fresh baked cornbread or your favorite corn chips (we like Frito Scoops) on the side (Omit for low carb/keto).

Lodge Cast Iron Giveaway


Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the olive oil, onion, and bell pepper stirring for 3-4 minutes, and then add the garlic, jalapeño, chili, oregano and cumin powder, stirring another 3-4 minutes.

While veggies are sizzling, in a large skillet on a different burner cook 2 pounds of ground beef over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Drain and add to the Dutch Oven.

Add the tomatoes (grip in clean hand and squish) with juices, beer, one-cup beef or chicken broth, beans, dark chocolate, ketchup, salt, pepper and reduce the heat to medium. Let simmer stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Add more broth and season with freshly ground black pepper and more salt as needed.

Note: If needed, to thicken the chili before serving, place 1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour that’s found in the Mexican food section of  the supermarket), or regular flour (if not gluten free) in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm water and stir together with a fork. Dump the masa mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Omit for Keto/lowcarb.

Tip: Make this recipe on a busy week night by using a slow cooker. Cook on the LOW setting for 7  hours, stirring occasionally, and test-tasting often.

Beverage: Enjoy a cold beer or chilled glass of French Rosé, key for a dish loaded with cumin and chiles. The wine throws red-berry fruit into the mix. Its lightness counteracts the heaviness of the beef.

53 thoughts on “My Famous Chili”

  1. Since it’s football season, I’d make chili 24/7! Our last pot was bison, and we made it with canned tomatoes and hot peppers from my mother’s garden. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. We have cold winters, so soup is often on the menu and I’d love to cook some in this great pot!

  3. Susan can’t wait to try your chili recipe it sounds wonderful. Love your blog and posts. Hope youbsre doing well. Let me know the next time you are in Baton rouge would love to see you.

  4. If I won, the first dish I would make is your chili con carne recipe. Now that it’s starting to get cold, it’s nice coming home from a long day at work to hot chili.

  5. I would make goulash,chicken and dumplings,broccoli soup, and leek onion soup.

  6. I would make some coffee beef stew.. first 🙂 Thanks for the chance!

  7. Anything, everything, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Bacon, Korean Stew, Gumbo, Chili!!! I’m loving all of the great foods brewing away for the fall! Thanks for the comments! Keep em’ coming ! 🙂

  8. I would cook anything and everything in it, but particularly bacon! There’s nothing quite like some crispy bacon cooked in a Lodge cast iron skillet!

  9. I make big batches of chili to be able to freeze some for later! Make great freezer meals!

  10. I’d definitely fill that beautiful Lodge Enamel Pot with chili! I look forward to using this recipe, although I’ll have to decide what to substitute for the beer, since I can’t have any gluten. I’ve seen a few recipes using strong coffee — I wonder if that could be used instead, without ruining the flavor?

  11. Oh I would definitely be making some chili, but my wife would also use the pot for some of her Korean stews and soups.

  12. The possibilities are endless, but I would probably start with chili so I don’t have to worry about re-seasoning my other Lodge cast iron pans after I make it!

  13. I’d cook this chili!!!! I just made a really good chili last month, but this one has beer and chocolate so it MUUUST be better.

  14. Actually, I would make that chili in it, sounds damned good.

  15. Looks like a great pot for chili, venison stew, or for any number of wild game recipes.

  16. I would make home fries. It helps to have a deep pan with home fries to get that good steam bake.

  17. I would make homemade chicken noodle soup, which my family loves in cold weather

  18. I would make homemade chicken noodle soup, which my family loves in the cold weather

  19. I would make a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup, which my whole family always wants in cold weather!

  20. I love Lodge products! I would use this pot for soups and stews this winter, and would probably strt with some gumbo!

  21. Like Jeffrey mentioned, This pot is GREAT to make bread in! I need the larger size! Food Hunter, I have never tried Rabbit Sugo! Sounds interesting! Oh my, do I love Chicken & Dumplings… and Chicken Noodle Soup! Kelli, Gumbo is the best! Especially over the holidays! We make turkey gumbo with leftovers at Thanksgiving!

  22. With the cold weather upon us I am always comforted by homemade Mac & Cheese. I would also like to bake some bread in the pot.

  23. I love using cast iron. I have been craving some chicken and dumplings so that is what I would make first. Chili would be next – it is such a good and hearty fall meal.

  24. I would love to make a big pot of chicken noodle soup or zuppa toscana soup for my family in that cast iron pot.

  25. I’m making chili right now with a recipe I developed that is very close to this one!

  26. I love my cast iron pots. I think if I were the lucky winner I would give it to one of my friends who has been dreaming of getting one, who has gone through a terrible house improvement turned into “house reconstruction” (after they found awful termite damage… I would add your chili recipe with it. I’m dying to try it, I never thought of adding chocolate into mine and am very curious of what it would taste like:) thank you for sharing!

  27. I would cook some white chicken chili. It’s my family’s favorite!

  28. Love the pot! I have several of the lodges pieces, not enameled, and love those. Along with numerous antique cast irons. They are wonderful to cook in. This pot will make some awesome chili or chicken and dumpings!!

  29. Such a beautiful pot! I’ve been looking at dutch ovens for a while in hopes to find just the right one before the holidays. My Creole-Cajun family always has gumbo in some form, and I’d love to contribute my own recipe for once! Thanks for the opportunity and the chili con carne recipe!

  30. Love Lodge! If you haven’t traveled to the factory, it’s a must-do! The National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburgh is also a wonderful excuse to visit this quaint town in my home state of TN! Great giveaway Susan! 🙂

  31. I love making my homemade soups and chili this time of year. That chili recipe looks yummy! I want to make it and that pot would be perfect!!

  32. Thanks for stopping by Shelby! Miss, I LOVE Chicken N Dumplings! Appreciate the comments, Joni!! Bring on the Pot Pie, Holly! 🙂

  33. Your website looks awesome Susan! This looks delicious! We cook all of the time with a Dutch oven, especially for short ribs and roasts. Would love to have a better one that conducts heat better. Mine is a cheap one but does the job!

  34. Hi Ellen, Texas Chili does not have beans, but Chili Con Carne certainly does. As I stated in the above first paragraph, I prefer to add beans for fiber and texture. This recipe is tried and true, and our go-to. Sometimes I will add ground venison, or make it with turkey. Thanks for stopping by!

  35. I absolutely love cooking with cast iron. Not much beats it!! I do pot pies, use it for braising chicken and veggies and for stir fries!!

  36. First thing I would cook is your chili recipe. I’ve never tried beer and dark chocolate in mine. Second, would be my chunky Brunswick Stew with smoked chicken breasts and pork butt!

  37. Chili doesn’t have beans! ha ha Other than that a beautiful picture and interesting ingredients in the recipe I will have to try next time I make chili.

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