Introduction: Chilli Con Carne
This wonderfully cheap and tasty dish couldn't be easier to make and is the perfect classic dish to have for dinner. Comprised of Onions, Mince, beans and some tomatoes it is perfect to throw on the gas and leave for 40 mins whist you do more important things.
I have decided to be generous with the garlic in this dish as i enjoy strong flavours, but if you want to go slightly easier with the garlic and be able to see breath with your mouth in the elevator you can add in less. Additionally i have used Dark chocolate, this item is option but i would really recommend it purely for the wonderful balance it adds to the dish.
To make this dish spicier i would recommend adding in, Cayenne pepper and a little more chili powder.
2 large onion
1 1/2 Peppers any colour
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp hot Chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
500g minced beef
1 Chicken stock cube
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried Mixed Herbs
410g can red kidney beans
100g of Dark Chocolate Salt and pepper
plain boiled rice, to serve
soured cream, to serve
Step 1: Prepping the Vegetables.
The first step is to have all the Vegetables prepped and ready to go in the pan, so finely dice the Garlic, onions and Peppers. Don't worry about mixing them up in the bowl, all of these items are going to be sauteed in a small amount of oil at the next stage.
Picture 1. Finely dice up the Garlic, you want it to be almost puree consistency.
Picture 2. Finely dice up the Onions, this doesn't need to be as fine as the garlic but you should ensure that they are all roughly the same size.
Picture 3. Lastly dice up the bell pepper, I show you how i cut this in the video, but i will go over it quickly. Firstly i take off the four walls of the pepper, flatten them then cut them in to strips, then simply cut the other way so i have them diced.
Step 2: Sauteing Your Vegetables
Now for the fun bit! In a pan large enough to accommodate all other ingredients add oil and allow to heat up, I like to add my herbs and spices at this stage when the vegetables are softening, i find that they coat the onions and garlic and you end up with a stronger flavour at the end.
Picture 1.heat a large pan with a small amount of oil in its base. I like to wait until till the oil is just below its smoking point before adding the vegetables.
Picture 2. Now add the Vegetables, keep on mixing them to ensure they don't burn on the bottom and season well with salt and pepper.
Picture 3-6. lastly add 1tsp of each of the following, Chili powder, paprika, cumin and mixed herbs.
Step 3: Sauteing the Meat
Once the onions and Vegetables have soften and just started to turn slightly brown it is time to add the mince, Once the meat is cooked you will have quite a lot of fat that has come off the dish and is cooking in the pan. I tend to leave this in right up until serving. the fat will add a lot of flavour to the dish and you want as much of the flavour in the dish before you remove it.
Picture 1. The vegetables should being to take on the lovely colours of the herbs and spices that you have added, once they have browned slightly as well it is time to add your meat.
Picture 2. Once you have added the meat try to break up the mince as much as possible to allow it to cook quicker.
Picture 3. Once the meat has been cooked you can taste and adjust the seasoning, at this stage it will need a little more but not much.
Step 4: Adding the Tomatoes and Beans.
Once the Mince has been cooked, It is time to add the Bulk ingredients, In this case the Tinned tomatoes and beans, It is likely to look watery at this stage but dont worry, later on the sauce will reduce creating really rich and deep flavours
Picture 1. Add your tin of tomatoes to the meat and onions, for the moment it will look a little raw, but give it a little time to cook and you will have a far smoother sauce.
Picture 2. Next add the beans to your sauce.
Step 5: Additional Ingredients.
Finally its time for the last few ingredients that will really boast the flavour. Add in the Stock cube (if the sauce is already quite thick you can add some boiling water with it), then melt in the Chocolate and add the bay leaves. The bay leaves are optionally but they really bring the final dish together. If you choose to include a few bay leaves make sure your able to take them out at the end.
Picture 1. now its time to add in the Stock cubes, don't worry about dissolving it in water it shall dissolve in your sauce and thicken it slightly.
Picture 2. now add the chocolate.
Picture 3. Finally add a bay leaf or too, this will really boast the taste..
Step 6: Finally Reduce the Sauce Down.
Lastly its time to really reduce the sauce down, the further you can reduce the sauce the stronger and more intense the flavour will be, i would recommend around 30-40 reduction time on a low heat.
Picture 1. Its time to reduce your sauce this will take around 30-40 minutes or so.
Picture 2-3. Once it has reduced its ready to serve.
Step 7: Thank You for Reading.
I have chosen to serve this dish on a bed of plain rice and topped with a small amount of sour cream. I have garnished this dish with a single washed bay leaf, thyme sprig, a drizzle of olive oil and a dusting of paprika.
If you cant eat all of this at once, you can store this in the fridge for up to 5 days, and the freezer for 1 month. However i would recommend only reheating this once. food can become dangerous if it is reheated more then once.
Thank you for reading , if you have any comments or queries please contact me and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.