Monday, 7 February 2011

Chilli con Carne

Before now my understanding of this classic Texan dish was that it consisted of beef mince, an onion, garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes and one of kidney beans, and of course, a chilli, all served over a pile of rice. How wrong could I be? The greatest thing about this recipe is that most of the ingredients where hiding in my cupboard just waiting for me to put them all together. Of course I substituted the meat for quorn mince, and added a dollop of marmite to give it more depth of flavour, but I really couldn’t fault the recipe in any way. The fact that you can pretty much throw all the ingredients together in one big pan and leave it on a low heat for a couple of hours makes it a very appealing choice for the busy student, who wants a really tasty and satisfying supper, but who can’t be bothered to hover over the stove for more then 10 minutes.

Serves 6
3 carrots
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
olive oil
2 sticks celery
1 kg minced beef
2 tsp ground cumin
3 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp sweet paprika
3 tsp cayenne pepper
6 tbsp tomato puree
3x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
100ml malt vinegar
2x 400g tin kidney beans, drained
  1. Peel and quarter the carrots and onions, chop the celery and peel the garlic (the original recipe says to blitz all the veg in the food processor, but I chopped them all finely by hand and they turned out great).
  2. Heat the oil in a large deep pan, add the veg and fry until they have all softened.
  3. Add the mince and cook until it is brown all over. Then add all the other ingredients and stir. Cook uncovered for two hours on the hob, stirring occasionally, and add a little water to stop it drying out if necessary.
Culinary Know How: FRESHER
Budget: UNDER £10
Kitchen Requirements: ONE LARGE DEEP PAN.

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