Easy chilli con carne recipe

After a short spell of delightfully warm weather, the central heating is back on in the Ingram household, and warming dishes are back on the menu. When temperatures plummet, something with a bit of spice is in order. This tasty recipe comes from my Good Housekeeping recipe book. It makes enough for four people; as there’s only two of us, I tend to freeze half for a nice easy meal the following week, as it’s just as good reheated. You can also prepare it earlier in the day ready for reheating in the evening.

You will need
500g minced beef
Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of hot chilli powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds
3 tbsp tomato puree
300ml vegetable stock
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Garlic paste or clove of garlic
400g can of red kidney beans
Salt and pepper
Grated cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Step 1
I like to start by getting things ready so that everything’s a bit easier during cooking. I grind the cumin seeds by hand in my lovely marble pestle and mortar, mainly because it makes me feel that I’m cooking something exotic. I’ll also prepare the vegetable stock and chop the onion at this stage.


Step 2
Fry the beef in olive oil until nicely browned, and then use a slotted serving spoon to lift the beef out and put to one side temporarily.


Step 3
Fry the onion in the oil and meat juices until soft and golden, and then add the spices and fry for a further minute. It takes on a delicious, caramelised appearance at this point. You can add more chilli than the recipe states if you like it spicy.

Step 4
Add the beef back in, and then add in the tomatoes, tomato puree and vegetable stock. It will look quite runny.


Step 5
Simmer on a medium heat for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced until it’s reasonably thick. At this point, add the kidney beans, salt and pepper and simmer for a further five minutes or so (it’s not an exact science). If you’re preparing to eat immediately, boil the rice.

Step 6
Serve on top of rice, with grated cheddar cheese, some fresh coriander and a big dollop of sour cream if desired. The end result is pictured here before I completely obscured it with cheese and sour cream!


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