Just like my Spaghetti Bolognese, this is one of those
recipes that it’s good to have under your belt, because nearly everyone likes
it. It’s a simple dish, so it tends to turn up in awful ‘student’ cookbooks
that tell you to use the cheapest version of everything and stick to salt and
pepper, but I think Chilli Con Carne can be made a bit special by the addition
of a few spices and a mixture of interesting pulses, so don’t write it off just
yet. My boyfriend Mike improvised this recipe the other night and I think it’s
the best I’ve tasted (even allowing for me to be biased)!
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
A mixture of beans, such as kidney beans, cannellini
beans, and black-eyed beans – probably the easiest thing to do is buy a mixed
can (I find that the Sainsbury’s ‘mixed pulses’ can is perfect for the job)
A teaspoon or so of chilli – I buy Very Lazy chillis,
ready-prepared in a jar
A tablespoon of tomato puree
Sour cream and grated Cheddar, to serve
Start out by dicing the onion, then fry gently in a slug
of olive oil with a good sprinkling of paprika and cumin. Once the onion has
softened, add the mince and break up well with a spatula, then sprinkle the oregano
and thyme over the top and stir again. Put the kettle on and make up your beef
stock, and then, as the smell of the herbs starts to rise from the pan, pour in
the chopped tomatoes, refill the empty can with stock, and pour that in too.
Add a generous dollop of tomato puree and season well. Finally, rinse the beans
and stir them through the sauce, then pop the lid on, turn the heat down, and
leave the chilli to bubble for about half an hour.
While it’s simmering, make your rice – check out my perfectly fluffy takeaway-style rice on the How To page. Finally, serve up with a
sprinkling of grated cheddar on the top and a dollop of sour cream on the side.