Monday, 24 September 2012

Chilli con carne

This is probably the last comfort food post that will be going up before the weather starts really warming up and we shift our focus onto some leaner (but equally delicious) meals to help lose the winter weight.
Chilli con carne is my go to meal when feeding a crowd. Its simple, I can put it on to cook in the morning and forget about it all day. Then come serving time, I like to just chuck the pot in the middle of the table with a bowl of rice or corn chips and just let people help themselves.

I used to use Nigella Lawsons recipe for Chilli con carne. While it is absolutely delicious and not overly spicy I have been hesitant to put it up because I wanted something that didn't use beef mince and that was maybe a little closer to being authentic.
I made this for a special girls night when my bestie came back down from the sunshine coast for a visit. Both my girlfriends loved it and one even asked for the recipe because she wanted to make it for some visitors she was having.

Between you and me, I have always thought that although the chilli con carne itself is always packed full with spice and flavour, its the sides that really make this dish what it is. Make sure you have plenty of corn chips, sour cream and loads of the best homemade guacamole.

Serves: Up to 8    Prep time: 15 mins    Cook time: 2hrs 15 mins
Ingredients:
2 tbl spoons olive oil
1kg gravy beef
2 medium red onions - diced
2 garlic cloves - crushed
2 medium red capsicums - diced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbl spoon Mexican chilli powder
1 cinnamon stick
800gm can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves - chopped
1 continental cucumber - deseeded and diced
2 medium tomatoes - deseeded and diced

Homemade Guacamole (combine all ingredients in a bowl)
2 avocados - mashed
2 spring onions - thinly sliced
juice of 1-2 limes
2 extra tbl spoons coriander - chopped

Suggestions to serve:
4 cups cooked rice
Corn Chips
Sour cream
Grated cheese

Method:
1. Heat half the oil in a large heavy based saucepan over medium high heat. Cook the meat in batches until well browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the onion, garlic and capsicum. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the capsicum has softened. Add the cumin, coriander, chilli powder and cinnamon, Cook for one minute until the spices become fragrant. Return the beef to the pan with the stock and can of diced tomatoes. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

3. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 45 minutes. Once the beef is tender, remove from the saucepan with tongs and place onto a chopping board. Using two forks (or your hands), shred the meat making sure to discard any fatty bits.
Return the beef to the pan and stir until well combined. Simmer with the lid off for an extra 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Discard the cinnamon stick and stir in half the coriander.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, combine the remaining coriander, cucumber and tomato. Combine well.

5. Set out some big bowls, cutlery and all your sides onto the table. Place a serving spoon in your saucepan of chilli and call the crowd in for a Mexican fiesta.
The Mandatory Mooch

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