I’ve made basic Chilli Con Carne more times than I can remember. But I was reading Nigella’s Kitchen the other day and thought that her version, which features cocoa powder and chorizo, might be worth a try, especially as I had chorizo in the fridge. This recipe, therefore, combines elements of her recipe and my own (although I’m not convinced the cocoa powder added much!)
I just ate mine with some home-made guacamole and baked tortilla chips with a light sprinkling of Gruyère over the top while it was still hot from the pot. It’s warming, it’s filing and it’s (mostly) full of goodness. And let’s face it, there’s not much better than a pot of chilli bubbling on the stove on a Sunday afternoon!
You will need:
110g approx. of cooking chorizo
500g beef mince (or lean steak mince if you can get it)
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 knob of fresh ginger, grated
Salt and pepper
1tbsp tomato purée
1 normal tin of chopped tomatoes (400g approx.)
1/2 tomato tin of hot water swirled around to catch the remnants (full can of not using the coffee)
1 good splash Worcestershire sauce
1 can kidney beans
1/2 cup brewed coffee (optional)
Beef stock (optional) – I used 1 Knorr Stock Pot
1. Slice the onion, carrot and pepper however you like and add to a casserole dish which has been preheating on the job with a splash of oil in it and cook until starting to soften.
2. Slice the chorizo into thick disks, then quarter the disks. Add a new pan on a low heat and cook on both sides until starting to brown, and until you see the fat starts to render out. You can, of course, cook this in the main casserole dish if you’d like; I just prefer it this way so you can control how much fat ends up in the final Chilli.
3. Add the grated garlic and ginger, stir, then add the tomato purée, turning down the heat to avoid the garlic burning and to help the tomato purée to render out into sweetness. Then add the chorizo to the vegetables, and however much fat you wish to include. I used quite a hot chorizo so I got rid of all of the rendered fat, leaving a residue in the pan for browning the mince.
4. How you continue at this point is up to you, but for me, this was dictated by the size of my casserole dish! You want to gently brown the mince, not boil it, so if you don’t have alot of space in the casserole (or large saucepan), I would advice browning the mince in the pan you used for the chorizo. Add the mince to the pan in batches, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan, occasionally flipping and stirring it, until it had sealed all over. Sprinkle the mince with the cocoa, dried herbs and dried spices.
5. Add the mince to the casserole, stir into the vegetables and add the tomatoes, water, stock, coffee and Worcestershire sauce. Give it all a good stir and allow to simmer on a low heat for at least 40 minutes, but 1 or 2 hours would be best, stirring occasionally. If it starts to get dry, add in some more water or coffee.
6. When you think you’re about half an hour or so from the finish, strain the kidney beans and add them to the Chilli. I like to rinse them out as well, as they seem to accumulate a purple goo in the tin which perturbs me a little!
7. Continue to simmer until you’re happy with it, adding any other seasonings you feel are needed to taste. Serve with rice, tortilla chips, salad, tacos, whatever! The world is your kidney bean. It is fantastic with sweet potato wedges, with lashings of cheese, sour cream and guacamole.