Recipe: Excellent Home Made Chilli con Carne

Fuss Free Flavours Chilli con Carne -001I 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

Serves 6

Ingredients
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

To serve
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.

Notes: 

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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About Helen

Helen Best-Shaw is a freelance food & writer, photographer who has been writing about achievable, affordable and mostly healthy food on Fuss Free Flavours since 2007. She also contributes articles, recipes and photos to a number of online and print food magazines. Please do contact me if you would like to discuss commissioning work.

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Comments

  1. Ha ha, yes tis true to say, Westfield is my second home and I am looking forward to blogging my own experience soon.

    I’m not sure whether it’s politic for me to agree I like your chilli better? Do you offer 200 shops and 70+ restaurants at your flat too? Can I go shopping first then come round to yours on way home? ;-)

  2. Mmm I love chilli! such a lovely big bowl of comfort food!

    I made it a while back using stewing steak too, is miles better than mince! Love the sound of the smoked chilli paste too!

  3. What a wonderful challenge so glad yours turned out better.I will try a veggie version with beans and vegetables.

  4. Mmmm I love a good bowl of chilli and consider myself a bit of a connoisseur . I’ll definitely be trying this recipe. x

  5. I absolutly adore chilli con carni, but my husband and little ones are not fans of chilli beans which i think are essential lol, i really should make it some day even if its fro myself , on jacket potatoe is my fave x

  6. Just looking at this blog post has warmed my cockles… love a good chilli and your recipe sounds brilliant. A great way to use some of my Gran Luchito paste :-) I shall def be making a veggie version for Matthew to take to work.

  7. Great video and some handy tips in there, I like the idea of whizzing up some of the beans – no waste at all from the can. I’m sure you definitely gave the Westfield chef a run for his money!

  8. We mostly eat chilli on wraps with salad, but you have tempted me to go back to having it with rice and some extras on the side.

  9. Fantastic video. I’m going to add chocolate to my chilli next time. Love your chopsticks ? you use to stir the ingredients.

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