Chilli con carne


Warning! This dish is powerful. I cooked this dish before to help bring on labour when Davinia was pregnant with Malcolm. He was born very healthy and without incident on the 4th December two years ago. We are truly blessed. Davinia had gone four days over her due date and was getting very unsettled. My mother was a midwife for over 40 years and has heard every old wives tale of inducing labour from hot curries to sex. The latter wasn’t an option with 2 kids in the house and after all that’s what got us here in the first place. So I went with chillies. Now that we are growing our own chillies and tomatoes I couldn’t wait to see what they could bring to the dish. I wasn’t disappointed. The vibrancy and freshness was palatable. This dish has been made since the 1800’s and there are wide variations of what is added to give it that certain kick. No matter what you add to chill con carne the base of this dish is always beef mince, tomatoes, kidney beans, chilli peppers, paprika, cumin, garlic and onion. It’s totally up to you to add whatever you like, try and be as adventurous as you can. Our larder probably has more hot chilli products than anything else and I took complete advantage of it. I added ‘Bull Snort’ cayenne sauce, sriracha, gochujang (fermented chilli paste) and of course our own chillies. The type of chilli we grew was a piri piri variation. I was given these seeds by a good pal of mine Brian, who also grows his own veg. These seeds came directly from a Portuguese plant. For the entire growing season my four plants did not give up, they kept on producing whopper chillies right up until November. Brian also gave me a Scotch Bonnet plant at the end of the season and I am carefully nursing it until next year. I guess Brian is like my chilli pusher man and I am truly hooked. I am currently drying some of the excess chillies to make a hot chilli salt. This can be sprinkled on pizza, baked beans or eggs. It’s all about making what you have grown last through out winter.

Warning! This dish can also get you pregnant. After stimulating your tongue’s pain receptors, endorphins are released when you eat chillies. Your heart rate increases and you start to sweat, much like the way your body reacts during sex. You have been warned, now play nicely.

The Ingredients:

500g beef mince

1 large onion

3 garlic cloves

10 tomatoes

4 chilli peppers

1 tin of kidney beans

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp Bull Snort ( cayenne pepper sauce) or Tobasco

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp Sriracha sauce

2 tbsp Ketchup

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp cayenne chilli pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

Salt and pepper for seasoning

1 tsp Sunchang Gochujang paste (Korean fermented chilli paste)

1 tsp garlic mixed herb seasoning

2 squares of Cadburys Bournville grated

2 beef stock cubes

Oil for cooking

The Make:

Place tomatoes and chilli peppers in an oven tray. Pour over a little oil and roast them in a hot 170C oven until the skin starts to burn. This should take around 20 mins. Don’t allow them get too burnt just enough to allow the smoky flavour to stay. Once done blitz the tomatoes and chillies in a food processor until smooth. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve to remove any skin or seeds. Set sauce aside. Now finely chop the onion and garlic. Get a large pot and cook the chopped onion and garlic until they become soft. Add in mince with a little more oil and brown off the meat. Rinse kidney beans under running water and add them to the pot. Now add all the spices and sauces including your roast tomato sauce. Stir well. Add some beef stock to loosen up the overall dish. Grate in the Bournville chocolate now. Salt and pepper to season. Let this chilli simmer on a low heat for around 2 hours. Longer if you can. Boil some long grain rice to serve with your chilli. I served ours with cornbread as the sweetness marries perfectly with the hot smoky sauce. Enjoy.


1 thought on “Chilli con carne

  1. Tried this recipe for the first time today. Beautiful! I had to Mc-Gyver a small few of the ingredients as I couldn’t find them but the result was a nicely hot chilli with a nice hot kick. I will go slightly easier on the cloves next time That said with my being a very amatuer cook, this recipe is fantastically simple and extremely tasty. I would recommend it to anyone, and will most certainly be making a big pot for the next house party.

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