CHILLI CON CARNE
Chilli con carne is my ultimate comfort food. Perfect on a cold winters night, light spring evening or even a hot summers lunch. It's that good I'll eat it all year round. Personally I feel that a chilli tastes better the day after, it's something about the flavours developing over time. Therefore most of the time I prefer the leftovers rather than the dish I make on the day.
Serve chilli with rice, cheese, nachos, bread or even pasta. It's called chilli for a reason, don't skimp on the spice for this dish, or you just lose the significance of this Mexican classic. Don't be shy with the chilli. However if you're not one for spice, I suppose you can tone it down, just not too much.
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Large Onion (Finely Chopped)
- 2 Red Peppers (Roasted, See Tip)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (Finely Chopped)
- 1 Heaped Tbsp Hot Chilli Powder
- 3/4 Birds Eye Chillies (Finely Chopped)
- Dash Tabasco Sauce
- 2 Tsp Paprika
- 2 Tsp Ground Cumin
- 750g Lean Minced Beef
- 1 Beef Oxo Cube
- 400g Can Chopped Tomatoes
- 4 Cubes Dark Chocolate
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Purée
- 410g Can Red Kidney Beans (In Chilli Sauce)
- Plain Basmati Rice (To Serve)
- Coriander (Roughly Chopped To Serve)
Tip: Place the whole peppers on their side baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Roast the peppers in the pre-heated 200c oven for about 25 minutes; or until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, rotating the peppers if necessary to cook them evenly. Once cool enough to handle thinly slice.
- Place a large pan on the hob over a medium heat. (I always use my large cast iron pot). Add the oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot. Add the onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Add the garlic, and sliced roasted red peppers, chilli powder, paprika and cumin. Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a separate frying pan brown the beef, you shouldn't need any extra oil for this as the meat should cook in its own juices. Keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, until all the mince is in uniform, mince-sized lumps and there are no more pink. Drain any excess oil, and add the mince to the pot with the onion and spices.
Add the chopped tomatoes reserving the can, kidney beans including the chilli sauce and tomato puree into the mixture. Crumble 1 beef stock cube into the empty chopped tomato can followed by 200ml hot water and a good stir. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture.
Stir the mixture well and bring the whole thing to the boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, the mixture should still be gently bubbling and leave it for at least 1 hour covered. You should check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or isn’t drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.
After 1 hour add the chocolate and cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes. Adjust any seasoning.
Serve and enjoy. I usually find that a chilli tastes better the following day, so keep your eye out for my chilli & nachos recipe.