Color and flavour riot in a pot- Mexican-inspired Chilli con carne (meaning ”chilli with meat”) is a treat what this weather calls for. It is an easy one-pot dish to throw together using mostly storecupboard ingredients. However, this moreish dish prompts fiery debate on where and how the classic recipe originated from. In 1959, the Diccionario de Mejicanismos defined chilli con carne as ‘detestable food erroneously described as Mexican but sold in the US from Texas to New York ’. Born in Mexico, USA or elsewhere, I decided to cook this in my kitchen in London as it is a classic hot and spicy popular evening meal that’s high on flavour and perfect to enjoy at this time of the year.
Plus, it is a perfect dish for entertaining, so get your family round or invite a bunch of friends and give it a go.
Note: There is no one recipe for chilli con carne , so feel free to experiment.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Ingredients I Used:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1kg/2¼lb Lamb mince (traditionally, you should use beef mince)
250ml/9fl oz red wine
2 x 400g chopped tomatoes (you can use cans)
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 red chillies, thinly sliced, or 3-4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 stick cinnamon
1 Lamb stock cube (if you are using beef, use beef stock cubes)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 x 400g can red kidney beans, rinsed and boiled
1 large bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped (optional)
wedges of avocado or garden fresh salad, to serve
Lets cook now
Step one: Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan with a lid and fry the onion and garlic until softened. Increase the heat and add the mince, cooking quickly until browned and breaking down any chunks of meat with a wooden spoon.
Step two: Pour in the red wine and boil for 2-3 minutes.
Step three: Stir in the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, fresh chilli or chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and crumble in the stock cube. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the mixture is rich and thickened.
Step four: Add the kidney beans and fresh coriander. Cook for a further ten minutes, uncovered, before removing from the heat, adding any extra seasoning if necessary.
Serve with white steamed rice, and topped with avocado wedges, sour cream and a big green salad on the side.