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Recipe: Chili con carne

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Right now I’m so excited I think my head might explode. My 10 year high school reunion starts tomorrow, so I’m flying to the UK to see a lot of beautiful faces. Some people I actually haven’t seen in 10 years, so this is very exciting! I’m thrilled and at the same time a bit nervous to go back to this magical enchanted castle where my life was turned upside down when I arrived a little less than 12 years ago. What will it be like now? Will people have changed a lot? Nowadays it’s really easy to “stay in touch” with everyone through Facebook and so on, but seeing all these people again in real life and being thrown back to the same physical setting at the same time is something completely different. So to calm my nerves a bit before I start jumping up and down in my living room, I’ve decided to tell you about the chili I made this week.

I don’t follow a recipe when I make chili, so the quantities here are a bit of guesswork (it also means that the chili turns out a little different every time. Variation of the yummy kind!). There are two ingredients in my chili that in the past have made people go “You put in what?!?!”: a bit of dark chocolate and cinnamon. I promise, these will transform the dish. I made burritos with it this time around, but of course you can also have it with rice. Or with nachos. Or by itself.

Ingredients (4 portions)

  • 500g minced meat (I used 1/2 beef, 1/2 pork)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 small dried chilis, or fresh chili if you have it
  • olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • a healthy squeeze of tomato puree
  • 1 can (400g) kidney beans
  • 1 small can of sweetcorn (no idea how many grams the can was – sorry. I think the quantity was maybe about 3 tbsp)
  • 1 piece of dark chocolate (the darker the better)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • tabasco sauce
  • salt
  • pepper

In a frying pan, sauté half the onion in olive oil. Add the minced meat and cook it until it’s almost done. I do this to make the meat lose some of its water and fat. In a large saucepan, sauté the rest of the onion and the garlic with the chilis and the paprika. You can also add some additional chili powder. Add the green pepper, fry lightly for about 5 minutes. Now add the minced meat, kidney beans, sweetcorn, tomatoes, and tomato puree. Turn down the heat, cover the saucepan and… wait. Every once in a while, give it a little stir. The longer you let it simmer, the creamier the chili will get. This time, I lost my patience at around 30 minutes, but if you can wait longer, then do! I would say 45 minutes is probably ideal, but it also depends a bit on the liquid you have left. If your chili is looking very dry early on, you can add some vegetable stock for additional liquid. What you’re aiming for is a very creamy texture towards the end. Just make sure it’s not too liquid. About 15 minutes before you decide you can’t wait any more, add the cinnamon and chocolate. Add tabasco, salt, and pepper to taste. If you’re planning to keep it in the fridge overnight, and like me, you can’t find your chilis again to take them out, remember that the chili will get spicier, so go a bit easier on the tabasco. Cover again and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. If you’re having it with rice, let the chili stand for a few minutes before digging in for the flavours to settle.

For the burrito, I filled a corn tortilla with some of the chili, covered it with a slice of cheese, and grilled it in the oven at 180°C until the cheese was beginning to brown. ¡Qué aproveche!

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Author: bettinathenomad

Nomadic fan of books, food, the outdoors, and water. International Relations geek. Chlorine is my perfume.

One thought on “Recipe: Chili con carne

  1. Pingback: Recipe: Gazpacho | Books, Bikes, and Food

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