I can’t believe it’s not *Chili
I am always wary when I make a classic dish like chili as there are a lot of chili aficionados out there, who probably have a lot to say about the exact ingredients that go into a true chili con carne. So, from the outset, I am not claiming that this is an original chili that follows all strict ‘chili guidelines’ (if they exist), it is simply my interpretation of chili. I know technically this dish shouldn’t contain beans, but I like mine with beans. Chili is one of my go to recipes when I feel like something warm and comforting. It’s kind of like a hug in a bowl. It tastes delicious with some grated cheese, tortilla chips, a splodge of sour cream, a dash of lime, and a flourish of coriander. I love the whole array of colourful sides, which make this dish special. It’s also a one pot wonder, so as soon as you have it made, you can serve a crowd, with little or no effort. It’s really versatile, as it can be served with baked potatoes, or in a soft tortilla wrap. It freezes well too, so it’s a great lunch box staple that brightens up any boring day in the office. I know there are a million and one different recipes for chili, but this is just my take on a classic. Feel free to tweak this one and make it your own, I promise I won’t call the chili police on you!
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 lb. of ground meat
- 1 extra tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 red pepper, chopped into small dice
- 1 medium sized carrot, peeled and chopped into small dice
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small dice
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder (more if desired)
- 1 cup / 240ml of red wine
- 2 cups / 480ml of chicken broth
- 1 lb / 28 oz tin of diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
- ½ tablespoon of chipotle chili sauce
- ½ tablespoon of barbeque sauce
- A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 square of dark chocolate
- 1, 15 oz tin of pinto beans / red kidney beans
- Extra salt and pepper to taste
- Squeeze of lime
To begin, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, over a medium to high heat. Brown the meat in the pan; you might need to do it in two batches. Break the meat up with the back of a spoon, so that it all gets evenly cooked. Once cooked, place the meat on a clean plate. Leave the pan aside, as you will need it later to deglaze.
In a large casserole dish/ large saucepan, heat another tablespoon of olive oil over a medium to high heat. Add the onions and cook, until soft, golden and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Next add the diced vegetables (peppers, carrots and sweet potatoes). Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the vegetables are beginning to get tender. Next, add the salt and dry spices (cumin, paprika and chili powder) and stir together for a few minutes. Meanwhile, place the large frying pan over a medium to high heat, then pour the wine into the pan and let it sizzle. Scrape the plan and mix all the leftover meat juices with the wine. Pour the hot wine into the onions and vegetables. Scrape the bottom of the pot, where the vegetable may have slightly caught and let the wine simmer for a few minutes and absorb all the flavours.
Next, add the cooked ground beef and the chicken broth to the vegetables. Then, add the tin of tomatoes, tomato puree, chipotle sauce, barbeque sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Stir together, and then simmer over a low to medium heat for about 45 -50 minutes, stirring occasionally. After about 45 minutes of cooking, add the pinto beans and chocolate. Cook for a further ten minutes, then taste and season with salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lime.