Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Chilli Con Carne

I read recently that although most people buy recipe books they still have a set of standard meals that they cook frequently. Chilli Con Carne is one of mine and I have a set recipe I work from. I recently read that the version of Spaghetti Bolognese we tend cook in the UK is not based on the original version that comes from Bologna. So, I wondered if there an “original recipe” for chilli.

Well, after looking around, all I can say is wow. There are a lot of different versions of the dish. I also noticed that there are different versions depending on which country you are in, but there are common ingredients:

mince beef
chilli (powder or fresh)
tomatoes (tinned, fresh or purée)
red kidney beans

However in other recipes people have added red pepper, Worcester sauce, celery, red wine, coriander, oregano, cannellini beans – in fact it appears you can add almost anything and as long as it has the “coomon ingredients” you can call it chilli con carne.

Below is my version of this dish, but I've have added a few websites with different versions. It also appears there are chilli con carne associations which I have also added.

300-500g mince beef
olive oil (for frying)
1 medium onion chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 or 2 fresh chillies (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tablespoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of coriander powder
400g tin tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato purée
beef stock
400g tin red kidney beans
salt and pepper

Fry the mince beef until brown then drain the excess fat. In another pan heat the oil and add the onion and cook until soft, then add the garlic and chilli. Fry for a few minutes.

Add the cumin and coriander powder and cook for a few more minutes, then mix in the mince beef. Add the tin tomatoes and kidney beans, together with the beef stock (I haven't said how much to add or the type, as stock can come in many different versions e.g. liquid/ cubes). Then add any seasoning you require, but be aware there is salt already in the stock.

I find that the longer you cook this dish the better it is, but I know that there could be time restraints but you should cook this for at least 30-40 minutes. I have even been known to cook this for three hours, (on a very low heat), cool it down, place in the fridge and have it the next day.

Here is a good a more blog on the Guardian website

Wikipedia's chilli con carne entry

Chilli groups in the United States

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