Our easy recipes: Inspector Columbo’s favorite chili con carne – Sortir Grand Paris

So I no longer spend my life at the table but in the kitchen. My mission: to offer you a simple recipe every day, inspired by a film or a series. A TV set for your evening, in order to reconcile earthly and intellectual foods.

When you are a food critic, closing restaurants necessarily makes your job obsolete. “Since you’re not going to the restaurant anymore, sit in the kitchen”, So my editor advised me. That’s good: cooking, we haven’t found a better way to combat stress, restore those we love, and since we have to eat several times a day, we might as well try to make sense of it. After-sales service, achievements, failures and good ideas are welcome in comments!

Some people block on his raincoat or his dog. I have always been fascinated by the bags under Peter Falk’s eyes. I felt less alone lugging around with it – and, strangely, even locked up at home by telework, they haven’t disappeared. If you want to wear the same, the simplest is to embark on a Columbo marathon on TMC or TV Breizh, by chaining its full (69 episodes, 5 461 minutes or 91 hours approximately). This only makes 11 days at the rate of 8 hours of viewing per day. It’s up to you to spot the episodes made by Patrick McGoohan, John Cassavetes, Jonathan Demme or Steven Spielberg in the lot!

Fortunately for me, you don’t have to go far in the series to discover the lieutenant’s favorite dish to try. From the second episode of the first season, ” Ransom for a dead man “, Filmed in 1971, we see the inspector sitting down at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood and enjoying a bowl of hot chili. Barney’s Beanery Chili is a bit like onion soup with Pigs foot (which, for the first time in its history, is currently closed): a mythology of restoration. Created in 1920, this little cafe grew up at the same time as Hollywood, building its reputation on its onion soup (too) and then on its chili, of which it currently offers 45 versions. It is here, in this place frequented by Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, John Cusack or Demi Moore, that Janis Joplin spent his last evening and that Jim Morrison, whose recording studio was nearby, sometimes generously watered the bar. To know with what, we let you see the film The Doors, by Oliver Stone. Finally, Quentin Tarantino even wrote here scenes from Pulp Fiction, inspired by the mythical vibrations of the pub.

Blythe Danner and Peter Falk, COLUMBO by Richard Levinson and William Link. Season 2 Episode 1, Symphony in Black by Nicholas Colasanto. 1971

Blythe Danner and Peter Falk, COLUMBO by Richard Levinson and William Link. season 2 episode 1, Symphony in black by Nicholas Colasanto. 1971

© Universal Television

There, of course, the recipe for chili is secret. We just know that the beef is not ground there, but cut into small cubes, that black beans are preferred to red beans, and that one of the mysterious ingredients composing its sauce would be lager beer – good idea, i will think about it.

Since chili con carne is actually a Texan dish hated by Mexicans, don’t bother looking for more authenticity than necessary. Get out of the bean and just put the ones you have on hand, cook them yourself after a long soak or take out two cans. They are also the stars of chili: you can choose whether or not to add a little ground beef – hop the two freezer steaks, here! If you prefer chili sin carne, the trick is to mix two different types of beans (white, black, red, borlotti…) to vary the textures, and to add more vegetables which will melt when cooked (pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot). Ah, I forgot: my secret is to tie the sauce with one or two squares of dark chocolate, like a discreet echo on the mole Mexican.

Chili con carne
For 4 people

Preparation: 10 min
Cooking: 20 min

200 g ground beef (2 frozen ground steaks)
1 can of red or black beans or whatever you have on hand, drained (or 100 g of soaked beans, then cooked, for about 300 g of beans, cooked in the end)
30 cl of tomato coulis or a can of peeled tomatoes
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 celery stalk (if you have some on hand)
1 carrot or a little sweet potato, or pumpkin (if you have, otherwise do not go out for that; it is not very regulatory, but it makes a little more to eat vegetables)
Spices of your choice and depending on the filling of the cupboard: chili pepper of course, paprika, cumin, tex-mex spice blend
1 teaspoon oregano or thyme
2 squares of dark chocolate, or 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
1 pinch of sugar
Neutral oil of your choice for cooking
To serve: white rice, crushed tortillas, grated cheddar, touch of thick cream…

  1. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. We can grate them with a coarse grater, it works well too (but we cry faster). Peel and chop the vegetables you have chosen – you won’t say anything if you don’t, promised.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet. Brown the onion, garlic and vegetables. Add the meat and mix until brown on all sides.
  3. Add the spices of your choice, mix well. Pour the tomatoes and coarsely mash them with a fork. Add a pinch of sugar to remove the acidity. Add the oregano. Cover and simmer 15 min. If it sticks, add a little water.
  4. Add the beans, cover and simmer 5 min. Add the chocolate to bind the sauce, mix and serve hot.