Friday, 25 March 2011

Chilli Con Carne

A tasty, filling, cheap chilli.
I did have something in mind to talk about, but my mind has completely gone blank. I guess that's what I get for attempting to blog at 5:30am. My cupboards are getting bare, my freezer contains a single leek, and the fridge has 1 egg and two carrots. Bleak times indeed. Luckily I have some photo's of previous meals I've made, hopefully they will carry me over to when I next get some money and can start making some *real* recipe posts.

When there's need for a cheap and tasty meal, nothing beats chilli con carne. Well, some things might, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. I've read about people arguing about whether chilli should have beans in it or not, I think it should, otherwise you're just making a spicy Bolognese sauce. My normal chilli is a bit different to this one, but I used what I had on hand. It tasted great, and that's the main thing that matters.

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Chilli Con Carne

Picture of finished recipe.
A cheap but tasty version of chilli con carne
Prep time: 20m
Cook time: 1h15m
Total time: 1h35m
Yield: 4 Servings
  • 400g Beef, cubed or minced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 Carrot, sliced and parboiled
  • 1 Potato, cubed and parboiled(I recommend a nice firm waxy potato that will keep it's shape)
  • 400g Tomatoes(I used tinned tomatoes again, as that is all I have right now)
  • 200g(drained weight) Kidney beans
  • 4 Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato puree
  • 2 Tsp Chilli powder
  • 2 Tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 Tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1 Beef stock cube(I use oxo)
  • Pinch Salt & Pepper, for seasoning
  • 200ml Water or beef stock(I would use some red wine, but I didn't have any)
  • 1 or 1 1/2 cups Cooked rice per person(depends how much they eat)
Cooking Directions
  1. Soften the onion and garlic in a pan.
  2. Add the beef and brown quickly, seasoning with pepper.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and crumble in the stock cube.
  4. Add in the potato, carrot, tomato purée, chilli, cumin, coriander and cinnamon.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
    Tower of chilli!
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally until thickened.
  7. Add in the mushrooms and kidney beans.
  8. Cook for a further ten minutes, uncovered.

Ideally, the spices would be fresh and ground in a mortar and pestle just before cooking. I only had powdered right now, my cupboards are becoming bare and I haven't had money to re-stock yet.
If you would like to grind your own spices, replace the cumin and coriander powder for their respective seeds, cinnamon powder of a cinnamon stick and chilli powder for some dried or fresh chillies(dried birdseye chillies are ideal for this).
Bash them up in the mortar and pestle until they are a fine powder, or a coarse spice mix if you would prefer them that way.
Matt Conlan

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