Chili con Carne


Makes 6 servings

Chili con Carne
  • 3 oz of trimmed bacon ends, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb chuck roast
  • 1 large onion (8 oz), roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon chili spices (see notes)
  • 2 15oz cans spiced chili beans
  • 1 lb chopped tomatoes, fresh if in season, canned if not
  • 2 cobs worth of cooked corn kernels (about 1½ cup; 8oz if you’re using frozen cut corn)

Special equipment

barbecue grill


Brown your chuck roast on the grill. You’re not trying to cook the roast through, you’re carmelizing the surface of the meat to give it a rich, smokey flavor.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon over medium-high heat in a large pot until brown but not as far as crisp. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and cook until the onions are soft, stirring frequently to deglaze the bottom of the pot of the tasty brown bacon dregs.

Turning your attention back to the roast, remove from the grill, slice as you would a London broil, cut those slices in half lengthwise, and then cut the strips into ¼ inch to ½ inch pieces. Add to the bacon-onion mixture, and stir in your spices. Add the beans and tomatoes, reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook uncovered for about an hour. Add the corn only about 5 minutes before serving because you want the kernels to still be crisp and crunchy.

Serve with traditional cornbread.


The “1 tablespoon of chili spices” is where you make this chili your own. Use any variety of spices that total one tablespoon. It could be as simple as a tablespoon of chili powder or your favourite Cajun spice, or something much more complex. Here are some ideas to pique your creativity.
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon tumeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander

Gosh, still uninspired? Try mixing and matching from the matrix below

Hot Savory Sweet
ancho chili sweet paprika cinnamon
crushed red pepper coriander cocoa powder
black pepper cumin allspice
cayenne garlic brown sugar or molasses
onion powder
celery seed

We tried simplifying the recipe by using 1 lb of good ground chuck (90% lean), and browning it in the bacon fat. You may save time and effort, but you’ll sacrifice too much of the flavour of the dish.

The recipe doubles easily; you’ll probably end up buying a 2 lb chuck roast anyway, so go ahead and make a double batch.


If you like your chili especially tomatoey, consider adding a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.

Some may want grated cheese; we don’t see the need.