Cookbook Profile

Cornerback Chili Con Carne

Serves six


Cornerback Chili Con Carne One of the best attributes of chili con carne is the way it blends with other foods. This particular recipe is a blue-ribbon winner, full of flavor and only mildly hot. Serve it with a condiment bar of chopped red onions, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro and grated cheese. Put out other flavorings like red wine vinegar, Tabasco, tart Italian pepperoncini and jalapeños. My favorite way to serve chili con carne is with a relish of diced onions, red and green bell pepper and cilantro mixed with red wine vinegar. The vinegar adds zing without additional heat. Of course, always serve chili with some type of crackers, bread or chips. Old-fashioned saltines are best for tempering the flavor of really hot chili, but cornbread runs a tough competition. Ice cold beverages are a must.

While beef is the traditional "carne," I prefer to use turkey. Turkey is lower in fat and, with all the flavorings in this chili, it easily substitutes for beef. But if you prefer, you may make this same recipe with beef, pork, lamb or even a combination of meats.


2 teaspoons corn oil
2 to 2-1/2 pounds turkey or beef or combination,
   ground or chopped into small chunks
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cupswater
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup powdered red chiles
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons masa flour (optional)
1/4 cup water for masa flour


1. In a heavy pot, heat the oil, then cook the meat over high heat until browned. Reduce to medium heat and add the onions. Cook until the onions turn translucent. Stir in the garlic.

2. Pour in the tomato sauce, water and add the soy sauce. Mix in all remaining ingredients, except for the masa flour. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for one hour. If desired, add more liquid and cook longer to further blend the flavors.

3. If necessary, skim off the grease. If you are using masa flour, stir it into the remaining 1/4 cup water, then pour the mixture into the chili. Cook 15 minutes longer. Serve with the condiments of your choice.


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This page created January 1999