It’s blowing a gale out on this Autumn day – it’s miserable weather!
– a perfect evening to savour a heart and stomach-warning ‘Chilli con carne’!
Our daughter Lilas begged me for a long time to cook her a Chilli con Carne. She’d discovered the dish at a friend’s house and every time she returned home, would remind me of my promise to make our own.
There is only so long you can make an 8-year-old wait – so thanks to Lilas (just like the chocolate cake!) I have been making this version, found on Jamie Oliver’s website, ever since.
What’s good about this Chilli con carne? Chickpeas along with the kidney beans lightening it all up, making it a little less ‘meaty’.
A few tips –
- I always double the quantity from the original recipe, so listed here is my doubled version.
To be honest, for people like me who chop slowly (!) it’s a time-consuming dish as you chop the vegetables finely – so I prefer to go for it and make more than less, with the bonus of (even tastier) left-overs (I am a huge left-overs fan!).
- I order half beef mince and half beef rib/topside pieces to use (and cut the beef chunks into 3-4cm pieces) as we enjoy the variation in texture. Using only mince, I find the meat ‘disappears’ into the sauce.
- For best, tasty results, cook this at least one day ahead. The spices really come through on day 2 (like a good red wine).
Chilli con carne
1kg beef (500g minced/500g beef rib or topside pieces)
4 x onions
5 x cloves garlic
4 x carrots
4 x sticks celery
4 x red capsicum/peppers
1 tablespoon chilli powder *
1 tablespoon ground cumin *
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon *
2 x 400 g tin chickpeas
2 x 400 g tin red kidney beans
4 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
bunch of fresh coriander (separate leaves from stalks)
* I am constantly tasting the pot as it cooks and often add more
Peel and finely chop the onion and fry over a medium heat, in a large cast-iron pot, with a few tablespoons of olive oil, until slightly golden.
Add garlic and finely chopped carrot, celery, peppers and add the chilli, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper and fry until soft, about 15-20 minutes.
Add drained tinned kidney beans and chick peas and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes, add chopped coriander stalks. Stir.
Add the beef, breaking up the mince and pour two cans of water and balsamic vinegar into pot.
Bring to the boil, then lower heat to simmer, and cover with lid (or ajar if you want it to reduce a little). Cook for about 1 hour.
Serve with steamed rice, Coriander leaves, yoghurt and fresh wedges of lemon or lime.
Why not serve it with Benji’s beautiful Minervois* red – or if you like pairing spicy with a white wine, his Viognier?!*