Monday, August 27, 2018

The Best Chilli con Carne recipe

We are currently in the grip of more cold, wintry weather, so it is back to the kitchen for spicy warming food. Lynne’s favourite Chilli recipe is also probably the oldest cookbook recipe she uses – The International Cookbook bought from WH Smith in 1967. This is a Tex Mex chilli, not a true Mexican one. We do use tinned beans, as they are so cheap and they save so much time and energy. If you don’t do pork, you can leave out the bacon, but it is the secret ingredient, bringing out lots of flavour
350g dried or 2 tins red kidney beans -2 large onions, finely chopped – 2 cloves of garlic, crushed - 2 tablespoons olive oil - 450g lean minced beef – 30g chopped streaky bacon or pancetta 1 bottle of tomato passata or 1 tin of whole tomatoes, roughly chopped - 2 fresh red chillies– 1 t powdered Cumin - Freshly ground black pepper – Salt
If you are using dried kidney beans, soak them overnight in cold water. The following day, bring the beans to a boil in plain water, then discard that water. Cover the beans with more water and boil until they are soft
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and fry the onions until soft. Stir in the garlic, the meat and the bacon and continue frying, stirring occasionally, until the meat has browned. Blend in the drained kidney beans, add the passata or tomatoes with their juice, and season to taste with chilli, pepper and cumin
Cover the pan with a lid and cook on a low heat for at least an hour and a half, (the meat must be getting soft, the onions and tomato melting and all the flavours must be coming together) stirring occasionally and checking that it doesn’t dry out. Add a little water if it begins to dry. You can bury it in a slow oven as well. Taste and, if it is not hot enough, add some more chilli or a little hot chilli sauce. Only add salt at the end as the bacon usually adds enough
Serve with guacamole, a chopped tomato, spring onion and coriander salsa, rice or crusty bread and a tossed green salad. Serves 6

Tip: If you want a darker flavour, add one or two squares of good dark chocolate

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