Thursday, November 1, 2007

Chilli Con Carne

Easier than falling off a log, tastier than Kate Bush and more 80s than Spandau Ballet. Chilli Con Carne (or Chile Con Carne) is party food at the top of the party food food chain and this is my recipe, honed by years of trotting out chillis accompanied by a pile of steaming white basmati rice (as authentic as Angel Delight, I know), a green salad and piles of crisp hot garlic bread, washed down with bottles of balls-out New World Cabernets.

Woof woof!

Oh! A note for Tex-Mex purists. Boil yer heads. This is a pure, 100% authentic Watford Chile.
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 2 tins red beans
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 fresh red chilis, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp date syrup
Instead of date syrup you can use molasses or 4 cubes of dark chocolate.
In a wide bottomed pan, fry the minced beef over a medium heat until it has started to brown. Add the garlic and stir it up a bit, then add the spices, chili, salt and flour to the beef. Stir it all up and let it mix and bubble for a couple of minutes, then fling in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and stir them in. Reduce the heat to low. After about 15 minutes, add the date syrup (or chocolate or whatever dark and sweet thing you've decided to use) and stir it in, then the beans and stir them in too. Cover and leave to cook for another 30 minutes or more, depending on how you're feeling. An hour or so does no harm. Then, ideally, let it cool down in the pan and then reheat to serve. For some reason this transforms chili like an impending election transforms political debate.
And no chili in the world tastes as good as that reheated the next day. Honest.


Mita said...

Hey - love the advice to the Tex Mex purists.

How long do they need their heads boiled before developing a taste for Watford Chilli?

Alexander said...

All purists should have their heads boiled. The world would instantly be a better place.

Watford Chilli... ha... try it - you'll love it!!!!

Sally said...

Best chilli ever! Shocked friends with the chocolate. Replaced oregano with coriander and added a little lemon juice towards the end. Served with sour cream and corn on the cob.