Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Chilli Con Carne with a Twist

I first saw this recipe when I watched the Hairy Bikers show, I can't remember the name of it but it was to do with affordable cooking.
I was so intrigued by their idea of putting dark chocolate in their chilli. You always hear about chilli and chocolate, and chocolate and beef being great partners in taste sensations so I decided to give it a whirl.

The other thing that really drew me to this recipe is that it has both mince and steak chunks in it. We had a load of rump steak left over in our freezer that wouldn't have been so great to eat on it own which is why I decided to give this recipe a bash and of course change some things up to my own preference. After all, recipes are really only guidelines. 

Now it looks like a lot of ingredients, and it is, which is why its a perfect for feeding lots of people. This easily fed for of us, with seconds and there was leftovers! 
So once you break down the cost it really isn't that much per person. I couldn't tell you how much because I had many of the ingredients already so I apologise. 

You will need: 

Like I said it looks like a lot but a lot of the spices should be kicking around your store cupboard, and if they aren't then yes, the cost will be higher but you will have these spices for a long time! They are an investment. 

Start by grabbing a big board and chopping all your ingredients. I wanted nice big chunks of beef so there was a difference in textures of meat. Make sure your trim off the fat as, for once, there is no place for it in this dish. 

Start by frying off your mince, making sure it gets really browned all over. Once its done, take it out of the pan and put to one side. 

Repeat with the steak chunks, again making sure these are really browned and then remove. 

Now its the turn of the vegetables which is what going to make the spicy base.

Start by frying the onions and celery. Once these are nice and soft, throw in all the spices.

Would you just look at all the chilli! The chipotle paste gives it a really beautiful smoky flavour which just screams Mexican at you.

Give this a really good mix so that the spices get everywhere and the heats gets to them. Make sure you cook the spices properly as this is what really awakens their flavours. No point having a great mix if you can't taste it properly.

Now its time to throw everything together. Beef onto your spicy onions. 

Tomatoes on top of that.

Pour in your stock.

Finally add the kidney beans. 

I used a wok as this is our biggest pan. If I had my Le Creuset I would use it, but as I discovered the other day, my brother has stolen mine...

Give this all a really good mix, making sure everyone is really good friends with each other and no one is stood in groups trying to ruin the party. 

Have a quick taste, make sure you season and if you want add some extra chilli in, maybe in the form of some tabasco or just a little more chilli powder.

Finally, bang on a lid and cook for at least an hour, at least!! The recipe says to put it in the oven for 2-3 hours, but as I was using rump steak and not braising it didn't need that long, plus my wok doesn't go in the oven.

If you wanted to save gas then maybe its best to pop it in the oven, as for the time, just keep checking how tender your beef is. It's only the chunks you have to worry about.

I served rice with mine and a homemade guacamole. Unfortunately I didn't think to blog about that but I promise I shall do it another time because its a winning combination with this.

When your chilli is looking close to done its time for the final ingredient. The Chocolate.

Break into chunks, scatter over the top and watch it melt in...

Looks good no?

Give it a good stir and a final taste check for season and your good to go.

I tell you what, we were bloody stuffed after this and all plans of heading out were cancelled due to the arrival of many food babies. 

We sat on the sofas and groaned instead. 

I know it seems a bit complicated but I promise its not and it is 100% worth all of it.

This would be great for a dinner party. You could easily make it the night before, it might even be better if it is left! Then all you would have to do on the night would be to make the rice, whip up some guacamole and make a quick salad. 

Easy and impressive!! 

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