Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chile con carne

We had Chile con Carne for dinner tonight.  It was so delicious!  Here is the recipe...

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion or 2 medium
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 sweet red and one greenpepper
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder (or 1 level tsp if you like it spicier)
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 400g lean minced beef
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 240g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar or 1 cube dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée (optional)
  • 250g can red kidney beans
  • wraps and/or crusty bread
Prepare your vegetables.  Peel and chop the garlic.  De-seed and wash peppers, roughly chop into 5mm squares. Scrape and wash carrots and slice thinly.  Cut and chop onion into small squares of about 5mm. 

Put a medium pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the oil and heat for about 1 minute.  Add garlic and stir for a minute or two, add onion and cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Onions should be soft and slightly translucent. Add carrots and keep stirring for a few more minutes.  Finally add peppers and spices, giving it a good stir, cook for a further 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the minced beef, turning the heat up a bit, and break the meat up with your spoon or spatula. 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 bits. Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.

Crumble 1 beef stock cube into 300ml hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture. At this point add tomatoes and sugar (or cube of dark chocolate).  Here add the tomato puree if desired and give the sauce a good stir.

Simmer it gently for a while, then bring the whole thing to the boil. Give it a good stir, then turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes. You should check on the pan occasionally to stir the contents 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 and make sure that the heat really is low enough. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy. 

Drain and rinse the can of kidney beans in a sieve and then stir them into the pot. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without a lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry. Taste a bit of the chilli and season. Now put a lid on the pan, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Leaving your chilli to stand is really important as it allows the flavours to mingle with the meat. 

When serving you can serve topped with shredded cheese, so yummy in a wrap.

Serve with crusty bread or in wraps and enjoy.

This recipe is an adaptation taken from 


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