Saturday, 20 October 2007

Chilli Con Carne with Chorizo Potatoes

Chilli is the mystical food of the gods. It is also up there with buttery mash and beef stew as Queen of the comfort foods. I've spent years perfecting this recipe. It's the Rugby World Cup final tonight and this is the perfect food to stick on a table and help yourselves to. You don't need a slow cooker to make it, you can also leave it on the hob for a couple of hours. If you're doing this, don't add anything to the slow cooker because you don't have one - leave it all in the same pot and add each component one at a time.

Lots of chilli recipes ask you to put green peppers in, or other random additions like carrots. If you want to do that, go for it. Fry them up towards the end and throw them in for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. It makes you a weirdo though.

Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne

1 large onion (or 2 medium)
1 clove of garlic
2 tsps chilli powder (add more or less to your taste)
2 heaped tsps ground cumin (or crushed cumin seeds)
455g mince (it's all about the quality of the mince. Go to the butcher, or M&S - even though they sacked Bryan Ferry for a perfectly reasonable comment about the spivviness of Nazis)
2 heaped tsps tomato puree
2 cans chopped tomatoes
5 oz water
2 cans kidney beans
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Chop up your onion and garlic and add to a hot pan coated with olive oil.
Fry until just getting golden and add your chilli powder and cumin, coating the onion/garlic in the mixture.
Heat this for a minute longer and then add this to the bottom of your slow cooker. Turn the cooker onto high and keep the lid on top to sweat the onions.

Add your mince to the pan the onions were just in. This will ensure all of the left over spices get mixed up into the end result. Brown the mince - if at this point there is lots of fat, drain most of it off - then add the tomato puree, stirring it into the mince. Add the tinned tomatoes and water, and bring to the bowl.

Add the mince and tomato mixture into the slow cooker, stirring the onions/garlic in as you do so. Put the lid back on the slow cooker and leave on high for an hour. After an hour turn the slow cooker down to medium or low and leave until you're ready to serve - at least another 2 hours.

30 minutes before you're ready to serve, drain the kidney beans and add to the slow cooker, stirring them into the mix.

Put the chilli into bowls lined with tortillas, for more tasty carbohydrates to end your meal with.
The chorizo potatoes aren't technically a slow cooker recipe - and anyway, your slow cooker is busy making sexy chilli. They're an accompaniment, and a godly one at that.

Chorizo Potatoes

To make these ambrosial delights, you need:

400g baby new potatoes
200g chorizo, finely sliced and sliced into strips
150g pepperdew peppers in oil, sliced into strips
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Par boil the baby new potatoes until they're almost cooked, but still firm.
Half the potatoes, and put to one side.
Crush the garlic and add to a frying pan coated in olive oil, fry this garlic lightly
Add the potatoes and fry for 5 minutes, until crispy and golden
Add the strips of chorizo and fry for 3 minutes, until stirred in with the potatoes and browning
Add the paprika and chilli, stir in, and then throw in the pepperdew peppers
Stir all of this up, add salt and pepper, and leave on the pan for another 2-3 minutes to heat up.