Matthew’s Chilli Con Carne (serves 4, preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 1 hour plus 24 hours
There are about as many different recipes for Chilli Con Carne on the planet as there are days in a decade, but this one scores in two important respects.
1) It’s very tasty; and,
It’s very easy.
4 good teaspoons of Cumin (don’t be scared, bung loads in, it’s called flavour and it is great!)
4 small green (hot) chillies (depends on how hot you like it, do it to your own taste!)
1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
Green pepper (diced)
1 medium sized onion (chopped finely)
1 lb of lean beef mince
Red kidney beans (from a carton, naturally!)
Chopped tomatoes (also from a carton)
A good shot of quality American Bourbon (Jack Daniels, Makers Mark or Jim Beam)
Here’s what you do:
Step 1 - 24 Hours before you cook...
Put your mince into a dish and pour bourbon all over it. Allow the mince to marinate in the booze in the fridge overnight. Trust me. Your taste-buds will thank you for it; the result is amazing. Bourbon has a smoky/charcoal quality to it that complements the chilli beautifully. Without a doubt, bourbon is the secret of a good Chilli Con Carne.
Step 2 – in a large saucepan sauté your onions in the olive oil, add your chillies, then the peppers, then the garlic. After that bung in the cumin and the cayenne pepper. If your eyes aren’t watering by now, you’re not doing it right!
Step 2 – add the bourbon-soaked beef to the pan. Brown the meat thoroughly, stirring constantly so that the mince achieves a fine even consistency. Mmmm – smell the JD.
Step 3 – add the tomato puree and stir it into the pan’s contents. Cook for 5 minutes.
Step 4 – add in your chopped tomatoes and your kidney beans, stir it up and bring it to the boil then drop the heat down and leave it to simmer for an hour (stir occasionally to stop it from sticking).
Serve either on a bed of plain boiled basmati rice, topped with cheddar cheese (to your own taste, of course) or it can be fun to serve as a ‘DIY’ meal. Get your diners to ‘build their own dinner’ from your Chilli Con Carne, flour tortilla wraps, shredded iceberg lettuce, grated cheese and sour cream (or crème fraiche, which works even better than sour cream and is lower in fat).
Kitchen implements required: