Friday, July 18, 2014

Chilli con carne and guacamole, and being cocky

Chilli con carne + guacamole

I guess that once you start cooking and baking and the years go by it’s sort of inevitable to become a little cocky: I try to exercise modesty on a daily basis, but there are times when I’m eating something – savory or sweet – and I think: “I could make this, and a lot tastier” (and I bet some of you reading this right now are nodding your heads in agreement, relating to that feeling). :D

And let’s not forget that we can make the food better and for a lot less money.

I’ve managed to cut down our meat intake quite substantially (which is great), but our occasional fixes include chilli con carne, something my husband loves to eat when we go out for Tex-mex food (I lean towards guacamole, just love the stuff). I told him I would try making the chilli con carne at home and he was more than pleased with the idea.

I immediately reached out for Dean Edwards’ wonderful cookbook and the result was an amazing chilli con carne: very flavorsome, spicy to perfection, and insanely easy to make. I prepared the chilli con carne in advance and urge you to do the same if at all possible: it tasted great the day I made it, but it was even better the day I served it. The recipe below yields a lot and leftovers are delicious over some fluffy rice or as pasta sauce.

For the guacamole, I used one of Martha’s recipes – after mixing the ingredients, I drizzled the mixture with plenty of freshly squeezed lime juice, which not only boosts the flavor but also stops the avocado from getting brown. It tasted really good and paired perfectly with the carnivore part of our meal.

Chilli con carne
slightly adapted from the delicious Mincespiration!

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
500g beef mince
1 large onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
3 bacon rashers, finely sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 × 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
1 × 400g can of red kidney beans – I used 150g pinto beans I’d cooked the day before
200ml beef stock
sea salt black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
20g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, for serving

Heat half the olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat and brown the mince. Do this in batches if necessary so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Remove the beef from the saucepan and set aside. Add the remaining olive oil to the saucepan and cook the onion, garlic, pepper and bacon for about 5 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Add the cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and oregano and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Tip the mince back into the pan and add the tomatoes and stock. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t catch in the bottom of the saucepan. Add the beans (and more water if mixture is too dry) and cook for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the sugar and chocolate and stir to incorporate. Sprinkle with chopped coriander before serving. If making it in advance, let cool completely before refrigerating, covered.

Serves 5-6

slightly adapted from Martha

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large red chilli, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados
1 small tomato chopped
juice of 1 large lime

In a large bowl, mix together the onion, chilli, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, salt and black pepper. Crush the avocados into the onion mixture, leaving the mixture chunky. Fold in the tomatoes. Drizzle with the lime juice and mix to combine.
Sprinkle over remaining cilantro and serve.

Serves 2-3


Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

this looks amazing! i've been looking for a good chili recipe for a long time!!!

Marise said...

I adore chili con carne! It used to be my favorite meal at school, in Michigan. I will certainly try your recipe.

lisa is cooking said...

I love making chili in the summer with fresh tomatoes. And, I can't live without guacamole! This makes me want to grab the chips.

anilou said...

Yes Patricia, I definitely relate to the feeling that I could make something better myself. It is frustrating because I've never trained as a chef but sometimes I'm sure I could cook the meal better than the restaurant I'm eating in.

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