Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jamie's Chili con Carne

I discovered chili con carne thanks to Jamie Oliver and it's perfect dish to pack for your work lunch also. This is my first chili dish, I saw Rachael Allen has also one chili con carne recipe but this will have to wait for better times, need to finish off Jamie's first :-).

Jamie's Chili con Carne

2 medium onions
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
2 tsp chilli powder
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
455 g chuck steak, minced, or best minced beef
200 g sun-dried tomatoes in oil
2 x 400 g tins of tomatoes
1/2 stick of cinnamon
2 x 400 g tins of red kidney beans, drained

1. Blitz the onions and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, then fry in a little olive oil until soft. Add the chilli powder, fresh chilli, cumin and a little seasoning. Then add the minced chuck steak or beef and continue to cook, stirring until it has browned.

2. Blitz the sun-dried tomatoes in the food processor with enough oil from the jar to loosen into a paste. Add these to the beef with the tomatoes, cinnamon stick and a wineglass of water. Season a little more if need be.

3. Bring to the boil, cover with greaseproof paper and the lid, then either turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Add the tinned kidney beans 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time - they are already cooked and only need warming up.

4. This always tastes better if you cook it the day before (to give the flavours time to develop), so it's really handy if you've got friends coming round and don't want to be stuck in the kitchen. Just take it out of the fridge and warm it up - serve it with lots of fresh crusty bread, a nice tossed salad, and a big blob of natural yogurt or guacamole.

My version: I added about 300 ml water, this is pretty enough, I have tried with less and more water but chili tends to burn or leave too moist, so I have learn 300 ml water is just enough :-). I like my chili with grated Parmesan cheese on top, although it's pretty good with plain yogurt. I didn't bother with guacamole like Jamie suggested, laziness again kicks in :-). I have done it without sundried tomatoes, just used tomato paste instead and I can't say it tasted significantly worse, and I used minced beef (I mean, come on, stores sell it and somebody has to buy it!). I usually cook whole bunch and keep it in fridge.

Valuation: The best chili I have ever tried (well, the only one so far but who's counting anyway!), cinnamon stick gives it interesting twist.

Recipe adapted from: Happy Days with the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver