Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Chili con carne

Last night I had homemade chili con carne for supper. I had prepared it on Sunday afternoon and let it sit and rest in the fridge for 24 hours. I like a nice chili con carne every now and then. I’ve developed my own simple version, based on some recipes I found in magazines and cooking sites on the internet.

I bet my version has little or nothing to do with the real thing. At the risk of offending any Mexican or Latin American readers, here’s my Belgian version of chili con carne.

My personal interpretation of a chili con carne

What you need (serves 2):

200 gr. of minced beef
2 handfuls of dried red kidney beans
1 large onion, preferably a red one
1 small tin of tomato puree or 400 gr. of chopped tinned tomatoes
a teaspoon of soft paprika powder
a teaspoon of Mediterranean herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary, …)
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
a dash of Tabasco
pepper & salt
½ a cube of chicken stock
a small glass of water

This is what you do:

Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl of water. The next day, peel and roughly chop the onion. Let it sweat in a deep pan. When it’s translucent, add the minced beef in small batches. Bake the meat at a high heat, while you continue stirring and crushing it. If it gets too dry or starts sticking to the bottom of the pot, add a dash of water. Add the tomato puree or chopped tinned tomatoes. Next, season to taste using the paprika, the Mediterranean herb mixture, the Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and chicken stock cube. Drain the beans and add them to the pan. If you are using tomato puree, you might have to add some water at this point. If you’re using chopped tinned tomatoes, their juice will probably do the trick.

Turn down the heat and let the chili simmer for at least two hours. Stir every half hour or so, allowing the ingredients and the flavours to blend together. After two hours, put the pan aside and let the chili rest for 24 hours. The next day, reheat it gently and serve with a slice of whole grain bread, a chilled beer or a glass of robust red wine.

My mouth is watering while I’m typing this as I still have a generous portion of chili con carne waiting for me in the fridge … It'll make a nice supper!


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