As winter kicks in, I crave comfort food and stodge . . . one of my favourite cold night meals in the past few years has been chilli con carne, but it's turned into a bit of an obsession over the last few weeks. This probably coincided with me trying it with chocolate added to it for the first time. Oh my goodness, talk about a taste sensation!
Anyway, chilli con carne is ace and I'm now here to share my current favourite recipe for it. Because I'm nice like that. And it's delicious but, nearly as importantly, not difficult to make!!!
This recipe will serve between two and four depending on 1) how you choose to serve it and 2) how greedy you are!
- 500 g minced beef
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (garlic powder can do at a pinch)
- Any other veg you want to use (I usually use mushroom, peppers and occasionally, if I can be arsed, some grated carrot)
- Tin or carton of tomatoes (approx. 400g - I usually use one with either chilli or herbs)
- Approx half a tube of tomato puree
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- Hot chilli powder
- Salt and pepper (optional, to taste)
- Herbs (I used oregano and basil - because that's what was in the fella's cupboard)
- Kidney beans (optional)
- Dark chocolate (I used six small squares of Green and Black's 85% dark chocolate)
- Chop up the onions and garlic, and fry them up in a pan. Enjoy the amazing smell. This is just the beginning. I promise.
- Chuck the mince in and brown. Keep an eye on this while chopping up the rest of your veg.
- Throw in the veg and add the chopped tomatoes. I usually then half fill the tomato carton or tin with cold water and add that to the pan, followed by the stock cube.
- Once that's all mixed together, it's now time to spice it up. Add a sprinkling of herbs, a teaspoon of hot chilli powder, paprika, cumin and coriander. Salt and pepper to taste, if you want. Mix in, add some more chilli powder. In total, I usually use between 2 and 3 teaspoons of chilli powder but it's completely up to your taste.
- Squeeze in around half a tube of tomato puree, once this is absorbed in, drain the tin of kidney beans (I use a small tin and often forget to add them) and throw them in too. Add some more chilli powder if you want. (Don't feel like you have to though. You may want to do a quick taste test to see if you want more or have already overdone it.) Leave to simmer away for as long as you want, just making sure that it's not burning.
- Once you're nearly ready to serve up, add the chocolate and make sure it's melted and mixed in well.
And now you can eat! Serve however you want - I actually tend to just have mine with some grated cheese and sour cream/natural yogurt. If you do it that way you're probably only going to get two (large) portions out of the chilli mixture. Other alternatives though to make it go further? Baked potato and chilli. Chilli with rice. Spoon it into tortillas and make chilli beef fajitas. Enchiladas. Chilli nachos.
All delicious options. I thoroughly endorse them all. And I always wholeheartedly recommend the addition of cheese. Because... cheese!
Just make it. Okay?