Friday, 27 April 2012

Friday Food Lust - Chocolate Chilli Con Carne

chocolate chilli recipe, chocolate chilli con carne,
Chilli Con Carne has to be one of my all-time favourite recipes to make. Not only is it simple and easy to make, but it's also a great dinner party pleaser and very healthy too! 

Anyway, I long thought of it as a hearty, winter dish, but I was wrong! I've recently taken to making batches to serve up now - I  just swap the rice for homemade guacamole, sour cream and nachos. 

In terms of making chilli, I tend to wing it and throw in whatever I feel like. I also have to remember to tone it down when we have guests as hubby and I like it very hot!

Anyway, if you're a chilli novice or don't dare to wing it, this is a fantastic recipe to start and is only 387 calories per serving! The chocolate adds a bit of depth to the chilli, a certain richness. If you like a bit of sweetness along with the spice, experiment by adding a splash of balsamic vinegar, or even some ground cinnamon to the pot. I also like to add red wine or more veggies and beans for texture, including carrots, celery, chickpeas and plum tomatoes.


Sam x

1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or more if you like a bit of spice!)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
500g lean minced beef
1 beef stock cube
400g can chopped tomatoes
½ tsp dried marjoram
One small piece dark chocolate (that means there's plenty left for you to eat!)
2 tbsp tomato purée
410g can red kidney beans
soured cream and plain boiled long grain rice, to serve


(Serves 4)

1) Place a large pan on the hob over a medium heat (I find that cooking with a wok works well with this recipe, else it all spills over the sides!). Add the oil, then toss in the onions (and carrots and celery if you're using them) and cook, stirring every so often for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft. 

2) Tip in the garlic, red pepper, and all the spices. Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.

3) Turn the heat up a bit, then add the meat to the pan and break it up with your spoon or spatula. Keep stirring for at least 5 minutes, or until all the mince is has broken up and there are no more pink bits. Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stewing.

4) Meanwhile, crumble the beef stock cube into 300ml hot water, then pour into the pan. Open the chopped tomatoes and add these, before tipping in the dried marjoram and chocolate. Add a good shake of salt and pepper, then pour in the tomato purée and stir well.

5) Simmer gently until the whole thing comes to the boil, then give it a good stir and cover. Turn down the heat and leave it for 20 minutes. 

6) Be sure to check on the pan occasionally to stir and make sure the sauce isn't drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat really is low enough. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.

7) Now it's time to bring on the beans! Drain your kidney beans, then stir them into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil, then gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry. 

8) Taste a bit of the chilli and season. Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for ten minutes before serving, and relax. Leaving your chilli to stand is really important as it allows the flavours to mingle and the meat.