Chilli con carne

I haven’t cooked this in ages, it used to be something I ate about once a week.

It isn’t particularly an authentic recipe, just one that I have worked at over the years to create a set of flavours that works for me.

It is pretty simple really. I use;

A diced onion
2 crushed cloves of garlic
A diced red pepper and a diced green pepper
1 chopped red and 1 chopped green chilli
A chipotle, soaked and chopped (keep the soaking water)
A half-teaspoonful each of powdered cumin, smoked pimenton dulce, pimmenton piccante and ancho chilli powder
Salt and pepper
A teaspoonful of cocoa powder
A teaspoonful of dried oregano
A tin of chopped tomatoes
A splash of red wine vinegar
A tablespoonful of tomato purée
500 g minced beef
corn oil
A drained tin of red kidney beans and a small tin of sweetcorn

All you do is sauté all the vegetable items in the corn oil until soft and then add in the beef and fry it until it loses the pinkness.

Then add in all the herbs and spices and cook these in for a few minutes and add in the tinned tomatoes, the chilli soaking water, the tomato purée and the vinegar.

Stir well and simmer for about an hour and a half, adding water to keep it from drying out.

Finally add in the beans and corn and cook for a further half an hour.

Serve with plain rice, pickled jalapeños, soured cream, guacamole, chopped red onion, grated cheese and home made tortilla chips.

I couldn’t find any decent avocados yesterday, so I cheated and used a bought guacamole. It was OK, but nowhere near as good as home made.

You can drink any big fruity red with this, or chilled beer. We had a big Spanish red from the Cariñena region and made from the Garnacha grape, or Grenache as it is known in Spain. The wine is the 15% alcohol El Bombero, from Laithwaites. It is a very big wine and it really needs food. I wouldn’t call it subtle but it stands up well to the big flavours of Mexican-style food.

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