01 September 2014

Food: The ultimate chilli con carne recipe

I was watching my weekly dose of Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 last weekend and they made the most amazing looking chilli con carne recipe.  I have noticed this new trend of adding dark chocolate to this dish and many have claimed it to be their secret ingredient. Surprisingly I hadn't tried this in my chilli yet so I thought I would give it a go.  Serving chilli con carne with tortilla chips is a great alternative to rice and will make a great sharing dish at any party!

The Ingredients
Serves 4-6

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp medium chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 splashes of Worcester sauce
  • A small, cheeky squirt of tomato ketchup
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml hot beef stock
  • 400g can red kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • 30g–50 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces

To Serve:
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips (or rice)
  • Cheddar cheese (grated)
Before I begin any new recipe I like to prepare all of my ingredients.  This makes it a hell of a lot easier when you are following a recipe you are not used to. You don't need to worry about chopping those vegetables whilst your onions are burning in the pan!
Step 1
Roughly chop the red onion and clove of garlic.
Measure out your quantities of chilli flakes, paprika, cumin seeds, chilli powder and cinnamon.
Step 2
Heat the oil in a large pan and add all these ingredients plus the tomato puree, stirring consistently so they do not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn, until the onions have softened. 
Step 3
Add the beef mince and stir through until it has browned nicely.
Step 4
Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and beef stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.  I like my chilli to cook slowly over a longer period of time so I simmered mine on a low heat for 2-3 hours.  This really does make a difference to the taste and consistency so I definitely recommend cooking it for as long as you can.
Step 5
Once your chilli is ready, add the secret ingredient, chocolate!
Stir through to ensure it has fully melted and you will notice the sauce develops a lovely sheen.

Step 6
Serve on a plateful of tortilla chips, dollop a nice spoonful of soured cream on top and scatter with cheddar cheese.... no need for forks!
The secret chocolate ingredient is a secret no more! Try this recipe out yourself and let me know what you think.  I think the chocolate does make a difference even in such a small quantity.  It adds a kind of smoky flavour to the dish.


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