On our recent trip away, we went to a restaurant that has been around for years and years. On the menu’s back pages, they listed various meals that were made from yesteryear – one of them being a piping hot bowl of chili con carne served with a bun for $1.50. Coffee was 10 cents a cup! It did not say what year this was from – my guess would be the 60’s? Now a days a small coffee at a cafe in my neck of the woods is $2.75 or higher. Times have certainly changed as have the prices. Mind you, this would also have been 50 plus years ago. Yikes!
This particular chili con carne was made with smoky bacon, so here is my version:
3 slices thick cut natural bacon – diced
1 1/5 lbs. lean ground beef antibiotic free
4 chopped shallots
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped (if you want heat use an Anaheim or jalapeno)
1 1/2 stalks celery with leaves chopped
2 1/2 Tblsp. chili powder (mine is not hot)
1/2 Tblsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
156 ml. can tomato paste (small can)
1/2 cup water
14 oz. can pinto beans drained and rinsed
28 oz. can whole tomatoes, chopped
Heat up a pan on medium heat, and brown the bacon. Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel to absorb any excess fat and drain remaining renderings out of the pan. Add the ground beef and brown breaking it up in the pan. Once browned drain of all excess renderings.
Add the ground beef to a 3-4 quart size crock pot then add the bacon, the beans, shallots, garlic, green pepper, celery and all of the seasonings. Mix well. Add in the tomato paste, water, tomatoes & juice mix well and set on high. Cook for 1 hr. on high then turn to low for 5 more hours.
My crock pot was a 2 litre size which was filled to the top – so I cooked on high for 3 hrs. and on low for 2 hrs.