I made this dish for the first time, accidentally, last weekend in the presence of my family who were visiting. Anticipating the possibility of being snowed in, they had brought with them enough provisions to feed us all for a week. Ground meat, canned kidney beans, and stewed tomatoes were among them. They wanted "chile" and braved icy driving conditions into the village Saturday morning just to purchase chile powder. Thus I found myself trying my hand at something I'd never made before.
Today I experimented again with what was in the cupboard and a few more seasonings. The following 'recipe' is the result. 'Recipe' is a qualified term because I'm not offering any specific measurements. Had to put this one together by taste, and actually doing so is half the fun. So I'm not going to spoil it for you either :D
American Chile Con Carne
Chopped onions, celery, green pepper
Cooked kidney beans
Diced stewed tomatoes
Wilt chopped vegetables over medium-high heat in deep skillet in some olive oil.
Add to it the ground meat.
Add spices to taste - keep tasting and keep adding these seasonings.
Put in rinsed beans.
Add tomatoes with their liquid - tomato juice should cover all ingredients.
Add several whole cloves of garlic.
Turn heat down to a simmer and cook at least until you recognize the warm aroma of spiced chile.
Factors involved in ingredient amounts:
1) Number of people to be fed
2) Price and amount of meat bought (!)
3) Size of skillet or pan in which you're cooking
4) Your taste for spicy - hot or not
This came together and was fully cooked in about an hour. Of course, the melding of flavors improves with time on the stove and in the refrigerator. Fantastic next day. Serve over rice or pasta or in a bowl on its own.