Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Chilli con carne.

There was a load of mince to be used so I decided on chilli for two reasons:

1. Apart from some initial chopping and getting everything together etc., it's a very easy meal - plonk it all in a pot and simmer for a good few hours. Okay, that may be oversimplifying things but you get the jist ;D
2. The whole family likes it. With seven of us, there's going to be at least one person (usually me) that doesn't like what's on offer. We're all very good and eat it anyway, but it's nice to have something that everyone looks forward to.

So here's the first ever recipe I've posted on the blog. I don't use measurements because a) something like a chilli is really all about your own personal taste and b) I actually have no idea what the measurements are... indeed, the ingredients vary too depending on what there is to hand! Tinker with this recipe to your heart's content. Oh, and if you have it handy, a single square of 70% dark chocolate is always good to add in.

Steak mince (1kg)
Chopped tinned tomatoes (two cans)
Two medium red onions (finely chopped)
Three cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
Olive oil or vegetable oil
Beans (kidney beans, turtle beans, whatever you like)
Smoked paprika
One dried smoked chipotle chilli
Soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Tomato ketchup
Chilli sauce of your choice.

Serves 8.

How to do it:
1. Add your oil to a large pot (enough to coat the garlic and onion). Put the pot over a medium heat and add the finely chopped onion and garlic. Stir until softened. Add the mince. (You can brown the meat if you want but I don't bother since I'm using such a large amount.)

2. Once no more pinkness is visible in the mince add the two tins of chopped tomatoes, a glug of soy sauce and a generous shake of worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine then top up with water. (I leave the chilli to simmer for about three hours, so I add a lot of water. You may want to add less) Adjust the heat so everything starts to simmer.

3. Add your spices and seasoning - today I used cumin, smoked paprika, a smoked dried chipotle chilli, a little chipotle sauce, a squeeze of ketchup and, of course, salt. Play about with whatever flavours you wish.
4. Add in your beans.

5. Leave to simmer gently for as long as possible - the longer the better - because the flavours will get better and the meat will be tender. Remember to stir everything together every so often so it doesn't all burn onto the bottom of the pot.

6. When it's thick and a lot of the water has evaporated it's ready. Serve with guacamole, salsa, tortillas, rice, sour cream, cheese... whatever you want. You could also have it with corn chips, or cornbread (chopped green chilli and cheddar in cornbread is delicious).

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