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food recipes

Our Ideal Chilli con carne

the chilli con carnage made with my friend’s roadkill wallaby was good, but this is better!

This is a pretty simple recipe, just start a good 2.5h in advance & don’t forget to soak the beans overnight if you’re using dried ones. (Or cover them with heaps of boiling water about 4h before intended use if like me you forget!)

Quality of ingredients is paramount, try to get your cooking chorizo from a spanish specialist & ask for one that is best suited to stewing. We got our meat from Riverford (organic) & it tastes superb, maybe it is what made the difference so I’d recommend a quality organic if possible (from the producer rather than a supermarket).

500g beef mince
500g beef stewing steak diced
250g cooking chorizo (probably 3-4 sausages depending on size)
I used approx 250g each of haricot & lima beans soaked overnight in heaps of water
+ one tin of kidney beans (400g)
2 large onions, chopped
4+ cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp spanish hot paprika (smoked) – I used El Ruisenor brand (yum)
2 tbs vinegar of your choice
2 tsp dark brown sugar
2 x 400g tins of nice tasting tomatoes
6 chopped prunes
2 bay leaves
scant 1 tsp oregano
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Drain & rinse the soaked non-tinned beans and put them in a large pan of fresh water. Bring to the boil, boil hard for 10min then simmer gently until soft (time depends on size can take up to 2h), drain, reserving 500mL of the cooking liquid.

Whilst the beans are cooking brown the meats in batches, transferring the browned meat to a large saucepan. Then sweat the onions & garlic in the oil left in the pan (adding a little water if necessary) until transparent. Add to the meat along with all other ingredients except for the beans. Bring to the boil & simmer gently, stirring regularly. If it begins to look dry use some of the water from the beans. Cook for around 1 – 1.5h until the meats have softened & mixed with the sauce. Add the beans for the last 20+ minutes of cooking, season.

I served it with toasted pittas and creme fraiche.

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