… is only a plateful of mince



but – chilli con carne without any chilli

is only a plateful of mince…

These are the last two lines of “Bitcherel” by Eleanor Brown



Chili con carne (chili with meat) or more commonly known as simply “chili” is a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat, and tomatoes. Traditional versions are made using chili peppers, garlic, onions, and cumin, along with chopped or ground beef. Variations, both geographic and personal, may involve different types of meat as well as a variety of other ingredients, especially beans. The variant recipes provoke disputes among aficionados, some of whom insist that the word “chili” only applies to the basic dish. Chili is a frequent dish for cook-offs. It is also used as an ingredient in a number of other dishes.


This love affair has started a few decades ago when I lived in Arizona. What for us in Vienna was, and still is, the Gulyás, for the South-West of the US is the Chili con carne. No self-respecting pub, bar, restaurant and even Mom (or especially Moms) wouldn’t be caught dead, cooking their own special, homemade and from handed down recipes, CHILI CON CARNE. After working a day at the pastry shop we would make our pilgrimage to “our” pub for a “Chili and beer”.


I do hold it with Chili the same as I do with curries. It is the experiment and discovery, the search and reward that comes with every bowl. There must be at least one if not two recipe for every person the cooks Chili. I am no different. I would take every opportunity that comes my way to experiment with “this new” recipe. …. and yesterday was no different.


Tex Mex Chili in Austrian Gmundner Keramik

The search started here at chiliconcarne.org. It is basic, but you’ll get the idea. I read the recipe and already started substituting ingredients. Now here is what I did:

  • Used pork shoulder cut into cubes
  • brined pork-belly from spain sliced and cut into small pieces
  • very coarsely minced beef
  • I used red wine instead of water
  • no corn starch or other flour to bind (it will thicken once it is cooked for a very long time)
  • I start cooking on the stove, and finish it in the oven (like a brazing meat)

And the chills (peppers) I used are:

    • fresh green chilli peppers
    • dries whole red chillies
    • chilli flakes
    • Hungarian paprika powder
    • Cayenne pepper
I’m sure she has qualities, much underrated
that compensate amply for this
along with a charm that is so understated
it’s easy for people to miss


We had a bit of a Margarita thing last night, so a good old Chili is just what the doctor ordered.

It depends upon taste, which must not be disputed;
for which of us does understand
why some like their furnishings pallid and muted
their cookery wholesome, but bland?


So, …. Happy Cooking ….



Published by ChefThomas

… born in Upper Austria’s Wels, I have done most of my growing up in Vienna. Only by sheer accident did I fall into the trade of Pâtissier. After a short apprentice ship at a Viennese Bakery, I was accepted for apprentice ship, at "K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne", one of the oldest patisseries in Vienna. Learning the trade from the very basics, as the Emperor two Centuries ago would have expected from a "Pâtissier to the Royal and Imperial Court" (That is what the older Pâtissier still calls himself). I soon took to travel the world. From patisseries in America, to hotels in the Far East, Africa and the Middle East, did I accumulate a wealth of experience, ranging from bakeries to first class restaurants in major hotels to banquets for Presidents, Sultans and Heads of States and other famous, infamous and not so famous people. But the true excitement for me is in the "Viennese Café". Not just as an occupation, but as an institution in it own right.

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