Another grainy photo, this time, however, graininess is not a theme of the post. I can’t wait to get my hands on my camera. I swear I will never forget it again.
Chilli con carne is something I used to make quite a bit but haven’t done for ages. The recipe I use is from the Australian Women’s Weekly and, of course, I don’t have it with me. Such are the woes of living between two houses. There are Australian Women’s Weekly recipes on-line but it is such a long time since I made it, I didn’t know which, if any, of those I was reading was the actual recipe I used to make. In the end, I went with the taste.com.au recipe – on the basis they are, usually, reliable. And it was very enjoyable.
I know there are plenty of chilli con carne recipes on-line and I make no claims that this is an authentic recipe. The main reason for this post is: as I was making it, I thought, “What a simple, healthy, family meal this is.” It is a one-pot meal and, when served with a green salad, would be a cheap, well-balanced meal for six. Keep the chillies mild and the chilli powder to a minimum and kids would love it. I decided to write this post just to remind everyone to make it every now and again.
The other reason for the post is: that great Catalyst show, “Gut Reaction“, is being repeated this week and next. It is really worth watching. Part one will be on iview and Part 2 will be showing next week. It really impressed me the first time I saw it. It sent me off on a flurry to increase the fibre in our diet. Check out this post which is a short summary of the shows. In essence, we don’t eat enough fibre and, therefore, don’t have a great variety of good bugs in our gut. This results in we Western folk being susceptible to a wide range of diseases. Legumes are a great source of fibre, so be generous with the red kidney beans.
- 3 rashers of bacon, roughly chopped
- 1kg good quality beef mince
- 2 medium brown onions, chopped
- 2 medium red capsicums, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large red chilli, chopped
- chilli powder – use as much as you like. The recipe said 2 x 20 mil tablespoons which is a lot if you are feeding kids. I used 1 teaspoon of hot smoked paprika and one teaspoon of chilli powder and it wasn’t very hot. I drizzled some tabasco sauce into the pot near the end and drizzled some more over my dinner. I will know next time to up the chilli powder.
- 800g can chopped tomatoes. I used 2 x 500 mil jars of crushed tomatoes.
- red kidney beans – the original recipe said one 400g can of red kidney beans but I don’t think that is anywhere near enough. I used 250g dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight and then cooked until soft. This resulted in four cups of cooked beans. If you use tinned beans, use at least two tins.
- Heat a small amount of oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bacon and cook until brown.
- Reduce the heat. Add the onions and cook, gently, until soft and transparent.
- Increase the heat. Add the mince. Cook, stirring to break it up, until the mince is well browned.
- Add the chilli powder. Cook, stirring, for one minute.
- Add the capsicums, garlic and chilli. Cook until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the tomatoes and one cup of cold water. (I didn’t need to add any water because there was plenty of fluid in my tomatoes). Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about one hour.
- Add the beans. Cook, uncovered, for a few minutes to heat the beans through and reduce the sauce, if necessary.
- Serve with rice or corn chips.
- Top with sour cream, avocado, jalapeño chillies, etc.