Sunday, 7 July 2013

Chilli Con Carne with Basmati Rice

Whenever I buy minced beef, I think of either cooking my all time family favourite classic spaghetti bolognese or a spicy chilli con carne dish. These two dishes are too easy and quick to cook that even after a long hectic days at work, I am more than happy to get busy in my kitchen. I love my chilli con carne with a healthy side rocket and radish salad. Also, I prefer to have my chilli hot and spicy, so a good splash of tabasco does the job for me.

What you need
500g extra lean minced beef
1 tbsp sunflower/olive oil
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp chilli powder (or 1/2 tsp if you prefer mild)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 beef stock cube, crumble into 300ml hot water
400g can chopped tomatoes
½ tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp tomato purée
410g can red kidney beans
cooked basmati rice, to serve

For side salad
100g washed baby rocket
6 radishes washed and thinly sliced

What to do
Chop onion into small dice, peel and finely chop garlic cloves
cut red and green peppers in half lengthways, remove stalk, then chop
heat the pan over a medium heat and add the oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot
add the onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and slightly translucent. 
add the garlic, red pepper, chilli powder, paprika and cumin
give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn the heat up a bit, add the minced beef to the pan and break it up with a spoon keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, until all the mince is in uniform, mince-sized lumps and there are no more pink bits.

Pour beef stock into the pan with the mince mixture. 

Add chopped tomatoes, marjoram and sugar, and add a good shake of salt and pepper. and tomato purée and stir the sauce well.

Bring the minced beef sauce to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes. Check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan. After simmering gently, the sauce should look thick, moist and juicy. 

Stir the kidney beans into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry.

Cover the pan with a lid, turn off the heat and leave the chilli sauce to stand for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with boiled white basmati rice and a healthy rocket and radish salad.

Chilli con carne recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2002