Chilli Con Carne – Yummy Taste


I started eating before I remembered to take a photo.

I started eating before I remembered to take a photo.

My mother used to make this occasionally when we were a youngish family. I hadn’t made it since that time but when I came to Scotland to live with the engineer, he told me that he enjoyed it and made it for me.

At the moment he is using his considerable electronic engineering skills to put together an audio system for the whole house, having instituted a 3D interactive gi-normous TV in our (used to be sitting now) media room.

So I will make this for him – and a second more garlicky, oniony version for moi!

I have said before that I buy chillies and de-seed them, chop them up and stack the pieces in an ice cube tray with water and freeze them like this.

Great way to store fresh chillies!

Great way to store fresh chillies!

I use Cibouli onions that are quite mild and a clove of garlic. To minimise the breathy garlic smell, I add ginger to the cooking. Red wine is a must as is double or triple tomato concentrate. Semi dried tomatoes packed in oil are a flavoursome addition. This time I will divide a green capsicum between the two dishes because that’s what I have in the fridge. I also had some left over mixed beans in the fridge that I will add to the kidney beans.

Chopped Cibouli onions & garlic. Capsicum will be chopped!!

Chopped Cibouli onions & garlic. Capsicum will be chopped!!

You can use butter beans or chick peas. Jamie Oliver sometimes uses diced potato which I reckon would be excellent too. Chilli, as it is called in the US, is pretty much whatever you want it to be and whatever you have available. The basic tastes are meat, tomato and chilli. Anything else you want to add is fine unless you are a purist and which pure version do you follow? A bit like religion really (smile).

So here we go:

1 x 400g tin of kidney beans
1 – 1½ x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
400g – 500g lean minced beef (hold the horse!)
1 capsicum chopped
2 x ice cubes of red chilli or whatever you have available
1½ tsp each of gr. coriander, dried oregano, gr. cumin (or cumin seeds), paprika, cayenne pepper
½ tube of the concentrated tomato paste
Lots of gr black pepper using the Engineer’s pepper mill (I am fortunate to have several for my use – my current favourite is called Fatima – he has also made salt and pepper shakers)

The Engineer's/WoodWorker's condiment dispensers

The Engineer’s/WoodWorker’s condiment dispensers

2 beef stock cubes or Bisto granules or stock pot concentrate – I would use Knorr
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp monosodium glutamate (it really does improve the flavour)
4 or 5 chopped chestnut mushrooms
One or more big splashes of red wine
Garlic, onions of choice and some ginger for those who cannot live without these ingredients – like me.

I used some of the oil that the semi dried tomatoes had been packed in – the flavour is wonderful! Drain and rinse the kidney beans and add to the oil (2 separate pans for my little exercise). Stir the beans well and add the mince and lots of black pepper. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger (for my meal), then add the mince with lots more black pepper. Stir this well and break up the mince against the side of the pan. Add the chilli and mix in well.

Double concentrate, boil & bubble

Double concentrate, boil & bubble

Now add the dried spices and the chopped capsicum and semi dried tomatoes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir through. Add some water to ensure the mixture won’t burn while cooking and turn the heat down to a simmer.

Cover and cook for about 40mins stirring occasionally. At around 30mins, add the mushrooms and red wine.

Chestnut mushrooms hold their tilth!

Chestnut mushrooms hold their tilth!

Serve with long grain rice and grated mature cheddar. Sprinkle with some parsley.

Drink more red wine!


3 responses to “Chilli Con Carne – Yummy Taste

  1. It’s surely a good sign that it was so good you couldn’t wait to take a photo before you tucked in! It looks amaaaazing 🙂

  2. Even better as left overs the next day. The flavours keep on infusing 🙂

  3. Pingback: Using Spices to Your Advantage part 1 | Savor the Food

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