Chili Con Carne – a taste bud tingling recipe

Chilli Con Carne

A picture of somebody elses Chili con carne. I will get around to adding a proper picture at some stage. If you follow the instructions yours should look significantly better than this.

Chili Con Carne Portions:

Serves 4-5 or 2 Truckers, or 1 for almost of a week (see bottom of page).

Technical Specifications

Tools Required (Utensils)

  • Wok
  • Saucepan

Component Parts (ingredients)

  • Olive Oil or other cooking oil.  Do NOT use engine oil.
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or more if you really love garlic)
  • A load of minced beef (1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
  • An Onion (a nice big one or a few little ones)
  • A can of Kidney Beans (available in your local supermarket near the baked beans)
  • A can of Chopped Tomatoes.
  • A tube of Tomato Puree (looks like toothpaste but with pictures of tomatoes on it)
  • Chili Powder
  • Salt (any kind really)
  • Pepper (black pepper)
  • Rice (boil in the bag for the authentic Lazy Cook experience)

Optional Extras (like bluetooth on your car stereo, you really want these)

  • Honey. Have this on standby in case you put in too much chili for your taste.  A spoon of honey will take the edge off the heat of the chili.
  • Red Wine – just a dash in the cooking and the rest in you.
  • Two squares of dark chocolate (adds depth to the flavour and gives you something to nibble while you cook).
  • Bell Peppers. Red, green orange or yellow peppers.  Just one will be fine.
  • Worcestershire Sauce (woostesher).  It’s a bit of a mouthful to say but just a splash adds a richness to the dish.
  • Cheese. Sprinkle some cheese on top when serving. Something like cheddar would be nice, but whatever tickles your fancy.
  • Sour Cream.  Add a dollop to the center when serving.

Instructions

  1. Fill a saucepan big enough for however much rice you are cooking with water. Place it on the hob at a medium to high heat (turn down when it boils).
  2. Open the can of kidney beans and pour out the liquid.  I like to then leave the tap running gently into the can for a while.  I then pour out the water before adding to the wok… but not yet!
  3. Place a little oil in the wok, again over a medium to high (3/4) heat.  Add your mince and mix it as it browns.  This seals in the flavour of the meat.
  4. Chop your garlic up fine.  You can use a razor blade Goodfellas style, but it is quicker to chop garlic with a chefs knife (see the link).  Add the garlic to the minced meat.
  5. Chop your onion(s).  I like to chop them up nice and small.  Add these to the mince too.
  6. Chop your peppers if you are using them and add them to the wok too.  Dont forget to stir up your wok every now and again, you want it to all cook evenly.
  7. Just a pinch of salt and a little black pepper goes in next.
  8. Add in your kidney beans and your can of chopped tomatoes.
  9. Add in your tomato puree.  This will make the mix a little thicker.  The chopped tomatoes will have been a bit watery.
  10. Your water should be hot enough for the rice now.  Throw in however many bags you need for this sitting and be aware that you only have 10 minutes left to complete your sauce!  This is how long the rice takes if it is boil in the bag, but check your packet first.
  11. Add your chili powder to taste.  Your meal should have been cooking for about 10 mins at this stage so the mince should be safe to taste if you browned it properly.  If you add too much, just add a spoonful of honey to calm it down a bit.

Extra Flavour

  1. Now it is time for the extras (an you really should use them.. they make a big difference). Worcestershire Sauce, just a splash.  Same goes for the red wine.
  2. If you still have two squares of chocolate left throw them in.  Go on, just let go of them.  It’s ok, you can buy more.  Come on now, it’s only chocolate.  LET GO OF THE CHOCOLATE!  Well done. Proud of you.

Serving

  1. When the rice is cooked hang it up to drain (assuming boil in the bag).  After a few minutes serve it and place your chili on top of it.  Finish off with a nice dollop of sour cream.
  2. Enjoy!

Maintenance

Problem Solution
The contents of your wok are spitting out of the pan and getting all over your cooker and counter Your heat is too high.  Turn it down a bit until it stops. In an extreme case remove the wok from the heat completely for a little while until the cooker has a chance to cool a little.
The sauce is watery in the wok Turn up the heat a bit.  This will cause some of the water content to evaporate and give you the nice thick sauce you are looking for.
The wok is on fire The heat was far too high.  Try to put it out but if it is really out of control get yourself and anybody else out of there and call the fire brigade (999 UK Ireland, 911 USA).  Cooking is not for you.
The sauce is too hot spicy Add some honey to cool it down and next time don’t put in so much chili powder.
My wine is all gone Turn off the cooker and go and sleep it off.
I cut my finger chopping the vegetables Are we talking a little nick or severed here? In case A, put a plaster on it. If you have chopped off part of your finger then get to an emergency room after turning off the cooker.

Hey, you made me cook enough for a small army!

This is the clever part.  In general the more you cook the cheaper it is per serving.  If you noticed the “Read Me First!” link in the menu at the top and actually read it you will have some take away containers ready.

Put your leftovers (from the wok, not your plate) into these portion sized containers, let them cool and then put them in your freezer.

Now next time you want a quick meal you just have to defrost and heat one of these.  It will be quicker and tastier than ordering a take-away.

You do not have to have exactly the same thing next time either.  Try pasta instead of rice or make yourself a Chili Con Sandwich.

Put in the effort once…. eat well several times more conveniently and less expensively than using a take-away.

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