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Posts Tagged ‘beef’

Chilli Con Carne

Chilli con carne

I like to vary the carbohydrates that I eat during the week, alternating between rice, potatoes, pasta and bread. When we’re thinking of something to have with rice, chilli frequently comes to mind. It’s delicious, simple to make and keeps well in the freezer – although my leftovers are often taken to work for lunch the next day. For some reason there’s no mention of chilli con carne on this blog so I thought I’d change that.

Chilli is similar to bolognese in that everyone has their own recipe and secret ingredients. Sit a few cooks down together and bring up the topic of the ultimate chilli con carne recipe and you’ll have hours of conversation over the best meats (either ground or diced chunks), whether beans should be added or not, the amount of tomato to use… I’m going to give my recipe but don’t take it as gospel. Use more or less beans, diced beef instead of minced beef, more or less chilli – it’s up to you.

This time I used British Cherry Bomb chillis – they’re pendant shaped and can be quite potent. Any other type of fresh chilli, or even dried chilli flakes will do.

Chilli also tastes better when made a few days in advance. Once cooked, leave to cool then put in the fridge and reheat gently before serving.

Chilli Con Carne
Serves 2 to 3 people
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: at least an hour

1 onion, half sliced, the other half diced
1 cherry bomb chilli, diced (include the seeds if you want it hot)
1 large clove garlic, minced
350g lean minced beef
1 beef stock cube
1/2tsp cumin
1 tin good quality chopped tomatoes
1/2 tbsp tomato puree
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp oregano
dash of red wine (optional)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Start by dry fying the mince in a pan until browned, strain then set aside.

Fry the onion, garlic and chilli in a little oil over a low heat until softened – this will take between 5 and 10 minutes. Add the cumin, chilli powder and oregano to the onions and stir before adding the cooked minced beef. Next add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, beef stock cube and some salt and pepper and stir well. Pour in the red wine if using – I often freeze leftover red wine in an ice cube tray and use a couple of cubes in this dish.

Leave to simmer uncovered for at least an hour – add some water if it gets too dry. Serve with some boiled rice, a jacket potato or even some nachos.

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Conchiglie Bolognese

Conchiglie bolognese

Bolognese is a staple in the Grub’s Up household. We usually cook enough to freeze, meaning there is always some for dinner if we are lacking in creativity and/or time of an evening.

I’ve never found a ‘perfect’ recipe for bolognese. I always use lean minced beef, onion, garlic, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, herbs and salt and pepper and then add one/many/all of red wine, beef stock, Marmite or Lea & Perrins. Tonight’s bolognese was out the freezer and the only thing I could remember from cooking it is that I used some red wine. I find the wine gives a good depth of flavour to the dish and adds to the ‘beefy-ness’, although I’d be interested to see what white wine does instead.  As I use beef, Erika cooks a Quorn version for herself, she’s not entirely happy with it though and would love some recommendations!

Tonight we had the bolognese with conchiglie – my favourite pasta for bolognese as the shells do a great job of holding the sauce. Next time I’ll note down the ingredients I use and can hopefully build on it to find the holy grail

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