I entirely blame my friend Sarah for the fact that I have developed a bit of a Westfield habit and spend quite a bit of time both Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City (I also use the Apple store – iStore – as my main reference point in both shopping centres – again down to Sarah, or more likely Ted).
As part of the new Westfield We are Dining campaign, which runs until the 28th February, offering a number of excellent discounts and offers at both shopping centres; we were challenged to visit Westfield London, try a signature dish from on of the restaurants and then try to “beat the chef” when reproducing it at home.
We went to sample Chilli con Carne from 1910 Mexican Kitchen; which we really enjoyed, and is a relatively simple dish to recreate at home. Our recreation of the dish used chunks of beef rather than mince, black beans in place of kidney and was slowly cooked. Spice levels were lower, but richer due to the use of the speciality smoky chilli, and a black bean paste thickened the sauce. A trick I have recently learnt is to serve a wedge of lime with chilli – it pairs amazingly well.
Recipe: Excellent Homemade Chilli con Carne
2 tbs vegetable oil
450g diced stewing steak
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cardamom pods
2 onions – finely chopped
3 cloves garlic – chopped
4 squares dark chocolate
2 tsp smoked chilli paste or ground chipotle – I used Gran Luchito 400g can chopped tomatoes
400g tin of black beans
50 – 75g of dried rice per person cooked as per packet instructions
1 avocado – peeled, de stoned and diced
small bunch of coriander
170ml pot of soured cream
1 lime cut into wedges
Home made tortilla chips
Heat the oil in a flame proof casserole dish and fry the steak until each piece has browned. It is better to do this in stages, rather than by adding all the meat to the pot at once. Remove the meat from the pot and place on a plate.
Lightly crush the coriander seed, cumin and cardamom in a pestle & mortar or in a spice grinder and add to the casserole dish, fry until the spices become fragrant. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft.
Return the meat to the pan, add the chocolate, chilli paste and tinned tomatoes, stir, pop the lid on the casserole, turn the heat right down (you might want to use a heat diffuser) and let gently simmer for 90min to 2 hours until the steak is tender and is starting to fall apart.
Cook the rice as per the packet instructions.
Whilst the rice is cooking, drain the tin of black beans (reserving half the liquid), add half the beans to the chilli, then use a stick blender to blitz the remainder of the beans and their liquid to make a thick paste. Add this to the chilli and stir through.
Once cooked add a handful of finely chopped fresh coriander to the rice and stir through. To serve pack the rice into either a serving ring, or a small bowl and turn out to make a “rice castle” on a large plate. Serve the chilli in a bowl next to the rice and garnish with some more fresh coriander. Serve with a wedge of lime, the sour cream, avocado and home made tortilla chips.
I far prefer the texture of the chunks of beef in my chilli, you can use mince but it will not need to cook for as long. Using a smoky chilli makes a huge difference to the dish and it is well worth the investment in a good quality chilli. You can easily add an extra can of beans or two and some extra tomatoes to make the dish more frugal.
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