By far one of my favourite dishes ever, the famous but seriously underrated Chilli Con Carne. I guess the main reason it’s so underrated here in the UK is down to the huge amount of mediocre versions available in pub restaurants and microwave meals. In my opinion it’s very difficult to get a good Chilli anywhere here, well anywhere I’ve been anyway. And I mean that’s all we can base these things on right, our own personal experiences. So because of this lack of good Chilli Con Carne I’ve experienced in my life, I’ve come up with my own version.
Some say this dish originated in Mexico, others say Texas. I think it’s fair to say that no one really knows. All I know is that some of the best Chilli’s I’ve eaten have been in Mexican restaurants and another in New York City. It’s these versions of the dish that I base my recipe on. I must tell you, I am by no means claiming to have created an authentic, traditional Chilli Con Carne here. How can I have when I’m still yet to taste one myself? All this recipe is based on is versions of the dish I have enjoyed, and reading I have done on different ways to make it. From that I reckon I’ve come up with a pretty decent bowl of food.
There’s a lot of variations you can try for this dish. Traditionally Chilli should be made with beef, but what’s stopping you using pork mince or chunks of chicken? Experimenting is the key to cooking and you’ll never know what amazing combinations are out there until you try them all! Now, there’s two ways you can make this dish. If you own a slow cooker I recommend using it for this. If you don’t own one, no problem, it’s just as easy to make in a large saucepan. I’ll talk through both methods anyway.
Like I said above, this is one of my favourite dishes and really, it sums up perfectly what this blog is all about. This recipe requires a small amount of preparation and a small amount of cooking time. Once everything is in that slow cooker or saucepan you can just walk away and leave it. I mean, obviously check on it occasionally to see how it’s doing, but what I mean is, making time for home cooked food doesn’t always have to be hugely time consuming. Go on, give it a go and let me know what you think!
500g of whatever meat takes your fancy
400g chopped tomatoes
200g kidney beans (in chilli sauce if possible)
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fresh chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of sundried tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chilli powder
Salt and pepper
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. Add the sliced onions and fry until soft.
Add the chopped garlic and fresh chilli and fry for a further minute or two. Next add in all the spices and mix well and then add the meat and fry until well browned.
Mix in the sundried tomato paste and fry for a further minute before adding the chopped tomatoes and kidney beans (in their chilli sauce). Mix well and then turn down to a simmer.
For slow cooker users this is where you transfer it over to the pot. Keep it on a low heat and cook for around 6 hours. For those without slow cookers, keep the pan on a simmer (uncovered) for 1-2 hours. Stir occasionally for both methods.
Your Chilli should end up with a thick, rich sauce. NOT a runny, thin one. If this is the case then mix a teaspoon of cornflour with a teaspoon of cold water into a paste, and then stir into the sauce until it thickens.
Season with salt and pepper.
Done! See, I told you it wasn’t too time consuming! I suggest serving with a nice bowl of rice and a dollop of my Best Ever Guacamole on top. Perfect!