Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Chilli con carne - slow cooker or oven

Another recipe that's ideal for leftover roast beef, just call me the leftovers Queen. Or something. You know I'm not fussy.

Chilli con carne is something I never used to really think about making - if I wanted something of that ilk I'd make my chorizo, pepper & cannelini bean chilli. However, something I've come to realise over the last 4-5 months is that iron is important, and no matter how much kale and other leafy green veg I eat, I do sometimes need the oomph of beef.

This is a fantastic recipe - pretty failsafe, as I've made it in both the slow cooker and the oven. For ease I generally wallop everything in the slow cooker and head off, paintbrush in hand, ready to tackle skirting boards, but if I want to knock it up a bit faster, then the oven is just as good.

In the past I've used ancho chillies - dried, smoky, yet slightly sweet chillis that I leave whole and let the cooking process impart their flavour, but today for ease I used the Gran Luchito chilli paste I've oft raved about of late. 

You could easily switch out the cooked beef for mince, or even for stewing steak. And I'm (unsurprisingly) not averse to bulking it out with carrots and celery grated or finely chopped to make it go further. Also, see lentils or oats.

Slow cooker chilli con carne

2 red onions very finely chopped
2 sticks of celery very finely chopped
2 large(ish) carrots very finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 ancho chilli/ heaped tsp of Gran Luchito chilli paste
1/2 tsp lazy chillis (or similar)
1 tsp ground cumin
Cinammon stick
500g beef (or reduce this down and up the veggies)
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 jar of sundried tomatoes, drained of oil and whizzed up in the processor to make a thick paste
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tins kidney beans, drained

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C
I pop the garlic, celery, carrots and onions in the food processor and blitz until finely chopped (mainly because I'm lazy - a knife would do just as well)
In an ovenproof pan, sweat off your veg and chilli in a little oil until the onions begin to go translucent, then add your cumin and continue to cook off.
Add the beef - if you're using leftover cooked beef that you've whizzed up, if it's mince, then add it in and brown it first.
Add the mushrooms, and whizzed up sundried tomatoes, stir again
Add in both tins of tomatoes - when emptied, fill one up with water and add that too (if you're doing this in the slow cooker you don't need the extra water)
Pop the cinammon stick in
Add both tins of drained kidney beans

Cook in the oven for an hour and a half.

If you're doing this in the slow cooker - I know I should brown the beef first if I'm using mince, but normally I add in all in fairly bleary eyed, before I go out to work and leave it on low until I get back.

This is a fairly low chilli version - but if you like heat then add more to your taste. 

We have it with steamed brown rice, grated cheese, avocado and greek yoghurt if I have some around. If I'm doing it for guests then I make flatbreads so that people can either dip or scoop up the chilli as they go.

This is amazing as leftovers - M particularly likes it, stuffed into tortillas with a handful of cheese and baked off in a low oven, a sort of naked enchilada if you will. Personally, there's a lot to be said for a big bowl of steamed greens with this lollopped on top on my knees whilst watching Revenge.

2 comments:

bristol plasterer said...

Can't beat chilli con Carne,...Great recipe, thanks for sharing....

Simon

Penny Aylwin said...

You're so welcome Simon - it's a favourite of ours too. Just so much flavour :-)

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