Homemade Chili Con Carne (Killer Chili)

There’s nothing like homemade chili! It seems like everyone has his or her own special recipe so this is my version. You can cook it up on the stove in a couple of hours. You first need to have some cooked pinto beans. You can cook them the day before and keep them in the refrigerator or soak them the night before and cook the beans and the chili all in one day. They take about 3 hours to cook after soaking all night.

Everything in this recipe is healthy. I use grass-fed ground beef. It’s the best quality beef you can obtain. Some chili recipes call for kidney beans, but this one uses pinto beans.

This recipe uses 3 different kinds of chili peppers – Anaheim, serrano and sweet mini-peppers. The Anaheim peppers are very mild and the serrano peppers provide all the hotness. You can substitute jalapeño peppers for the serrano peppers if you want. Jalapeño peppers are not quite as hot, but will work. The nice thing about cooking with peppers is that it seems no matter how you combine them, you can taste all the individual flavors.

When you cook the ground beef if it is too fatty you can tilt the pan up to drain some of the fat. You can also blot the cooked meat with a paper towel if you want. Use a little bit of butter or coconut oil to sauté the garlic.

You can also vary the flavor by varying the brand of chili powder. I tried a “chili lime” chili powder recently. It was good. The tart lime flavor really added a nice touch.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1 lg onion, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 large Anaheim peppers, chopped
  • 2 serrano chili peppers, finely chopped (or jalapeño peppers)
  • 1 1/4 cups asst sweet peppers, chopped (mild chili peppers or mini-peppers)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin

Cook the ground meat in a skillet, and then tip the pan to drain off the fat. Blot the ground meat with a paper towel to remove excess fat and then add the can of diced tomatoes. Stir them together and then cook over a low flame.

Meanwhile, add a little butter or coconut oil to a large cooking pot and then lightly sauté the garlic over a medium flame (do not brown). Next, add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent (also do not brown). Next, add the chopped tomatoes and cook the vegetables for about 15 or 20 minutes over a medium low flame until the tomatoes are broken down.

When the vegetables are done, add the cooked ground meat and diced tomatoes to the pot along with the assorted chopped peppers. Stir everything together and then add the seasonings – chili powder, ground cumin and salt. Finally, add the cooked pinto beans, cover and simmer over a low flame for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cook until the chili is of uniform consistency and all the peppers are cooked.

Vary the hotness by varying the peppers. Two serrano peppers are good for a start for most people’s taste. Cooking will reduce the hotness a bit. Serrano peppers (or jalapeño peppers) are the hot ones, the Anaheim peppers are mild and the sweet peppers have no hotness.

Shown below are all the ingredients to make chili. Going from left to right and starting in the back row: chili powder, cooked pinto beans, salt, ground cumin, onion, tomatoes, can of diced tomatoes, one pound of grass-fed ground beef, fresh garlic cloves, Anaheim peppers, serrano peppers and sweet mini peppers.

Start by splitting each garlic clove to make it easy to peel them.

Finely chop the garlic cloves and add them to a large cooking pot …

Next, chop the onion. Start by cutting it in half.

Peel the onion halves and then make about 4 or 5 vertical cuts on one of the halves. Keep one end attached without cutting through.

Next, make 2 or 3 horizontal slices and keep the same end attached as in the vertical cuts.

Finally, make vertical cross-cuts spaced about 1/4 inch apart. Start at the cut end and work your way to the attached end. When you get to the last piece, lay it on its side and chop the remainder.

That’s the fastest way to chop an onion. You can swap the order of the cuts if you want – horizontal slices first, followed by the vertical cuts.

Now add a little butter or coconut oil to the cooking pot with the chopped garlic and sauté over a medium flame. Don’t brown it, just lightly cook it …

Note: Normally I would sauté garlic and onions in a skillet, but we need to cook the ground beef in the skillet at the same time the vegetables are cooking. There’s no point in cooking with 2 skillets plus a pot, so we will use the pot to cook the vegetables. It will cook the same as a large skillet.

While the garlic is cooking, add the ground beef to a skillet and start cooking it.

Add the onions to the sauteéd garlic just before it starts to brown and stir it quickly to cool it off a bit. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent (also not brown).

While the onions are cooking, chop the tomatoes – they go in next. Start by halving them and removing the hard stem ends.

Cut them the same way you did the onion, vertical cuts, horizontal cuts and then chop …

By the time the tomatoes are chopped the onions should be cooked  …

Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent …

Now add the chopped tomatoes.

You should cook them for about 15 to 20 minutes until the tomatoes are completly broken down.

In the meantime, keep cooking the beef.

Next, chop all the peppers. I start with the Anaheim peppers. Start by cutting the ends …

Next, make a horzontal cut all the way down the pepper to cut it in half. Do this for each pepper.

Now we want to get rid of the ribs and seeds. Just pull them off by hand. They come off really easy.

Break off the good parts around the stems by hand.

Now slice each half lengthwise into about 4 or 5 slices each.

Then chop them into medium sized chunks.

Chop all the Anaheim peppers this way.

Next, we will chop up all the mini peppers.

Pull the stems off and cut each pepper into thin slices.

Then make cross cuts on the pile to finish chopping them.

Finally we will chop the seranno peppers.

Start by cutting off the stems.

Slice each pepper into thin slices.

Now finely chop all the slices.

Note: Always finely chop the hot peppers. You can coarse chop the Anaheim peppers and medium-fine chop the sweet peppers, but you will get the best texture if you finely chop the hot peppers. There won’t be any hot chewy surprises in the finished chili this way!

The tomatoes are almost done … wait until they are light yellowish orange in color.

Keep checking the meat. Use a metal spatula and keep chopping it up as you cook it.

When the ground meat is cooked, tip the pan up to drain all the fat off and spoon it out of the pan.

Use a paper towel to blot away as much fat as you can.

Place the skillet back on the burner and add the can of diced tomatoes. Heat over a medium flame while the tomatoes and onions are cooking in the pot.

Stir the diced tomatoes into the meat while cooking.

You’ve been bouncing back and forth between the meat in the skillet and the vegetables in the pot. Now the tomatoes are done and if you’ve timed it all right, the meat and diced tomatoes should have been cooking for about 10 to 12 minutes or so.

Add the cooked meat and diced tomatoes to the pot …

Followed by all the chopped peppers …

Next add the seasonings – chili powder, ground cumin and salt.

Stir everything up real good.

Keep stirring to mix everything together.

Finally, add the cooked pinto beans.

We will add about 3 cups of pinto beans to the pot.

Stir the beans in real good and then cover and cook over a LOW flame. Cover the pot and simmer over a low flame for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Keep checking the pot every 20 minutes or so and stir the chili with a wooden spoon. Adjust the flame as necessary to keep from burning. Just cook it over a low flame.

After a couple of hours the chili will thin out and all the flavors will be married up.

Serve hot. Delicious!

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