My Ultimate Chilli con Carne

Yesterday I made a nice comforting dinner, a Mexican feast, well Tex Mex really. I LOVE Chilli con Carne (chilli with meat), but prefer to eat it with chunks of beef rather than mince. I have made it this way for a few years but yesterday I tried cooking it a different way and I marinated the beef in a chilli paste for a few hours, and it really was good. I always add chocolate into my chilli con carne too, it just gives the dish a deep richness in taste and colour. The history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica which was a region and cultural area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize.  Take a look at this link for more info;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_chocolate

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Marinade Ingredients

Serves 4

Time cooking 1 1/2 hours, marinade time: overnight/ 2 hours

Difficulty Easy

Marinade Ingredients:

1 kilo beef meat… brisket/braising/casserole meat…something with some fat content so it can be cooked slowly. Chopped into chunks.

2 cloves garlic grated

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp mustard (I used English)

1 tbsp ground cumin

4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2  a cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp mixed spice (I used my Aunt homemade spice)

Fresh Thyme leaves and oregano, a handful of both (you can use dried but if you have fresh use it)

1 extra picante dried chilli depending on heat (I used 1 as they are fairly hot and I add more chilli later, you can add two here)

2 sweet and dry peppers (these add a bit of sweetness to the paste)

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2 extra picantes and the 2 sweet peppers

Sauce Ingredients:

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1 onion diced

2 celery sticks diced finely

1/2 birds eye chillies left whole and pricked with a knife ( I used 2 as I wanted this HOT)

1 garlic clove grated

1 cup red wine

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tin plum tomatoes

2 tsp brown sugar

water approx 200ml

1 red pepper diced chunky

1 tin red kidney beans drained

20g dark chocolate, I used 70% cocoa

Method:

First make your marinade, now it is better to do this the day before and leave overnight, if not make sure you give yourself at least two hours for the meat to marinate.

In a pestle and mortar add in your garlic and salt.

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Bash until you create a paste.

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You can make the next part in a pestle and mortar but it will take a long time, I scraped this garlic paste into a blender and placed in all the other marinade ingredients apart from the oil.

Blitz up for a few minutes and add oil a little at a time to loosen the mix. You may not need it all, and you may need a little water if you use it all and the mix is still not smooth.

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All the marinade ingredients apart from the oil

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add in the oil a little at a time to make a smooth paste

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Deep red paste

Now coat the meat in this chilli paste, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge to marinate.

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Once marinated heat a deep pan and start to brown the beef pieces in batches, no need to add oil there should be enough in the marinade.

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Remove the meat with a slotted spoon once browned and set aside in a new bowl, keeping the marinade bowl and remaining scrapings of the chilli paste aside for later in the recipe.

In the same pan add the onions and celery, you can add a little more oil if it is sticking. Cook on a medium heat until soft.

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Chuck in the whole chillies and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

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Now scrape all of the remaining marinade from the bowl and add to pan.

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Add the tin tomatoes to the marinade bowl and use the liquid to scrape all the remaining chilli paste juices, mash the tomatoes up a bit too and set aside for a minute.

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Add the wine to the pan and cook for a minute to let this reduce a little. Then add in the vinegar, then the tomatoes scraping the bowl as much as you can.

Add in the sugar and stir.

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Now pop the beef back into the pan.

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Pour the water into both the tomato bowl and beef bowl to get the last remaining juices (I do not like to waste any of it 😉 ) Add this to the pan, you need the liquid to just cover the beef if this water doesn’t then add a little more.

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Taste the juice, you may not need to season it more as the marinade had salt in it. I added a little bit of cracked pepper. The colour is fairly pale at the moment and there may be a lot of liquid, don’t worry as it will reduce and become darker. Cover and turn heat to low and let this cook slowly…about 1 hour or until the beef is tender. Stir often during this time.

Once tender add the chocolate cook for 5 minutes uncovered. Stir it and you should see the colour become almost like dark chocolate.

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Now add in your peppers and kidney beans. I add the peppers at the end so they have a bite and so you can taste them. We have already flavoured the chilli with the dried sweet peppers.

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Cook this for a few more minutes uncovered then turn off and pop the lid on. Set aside until you are ready to eat this.

If you can I would make this ahead as it tastes so much better once it has sat for a few hours, or cook the day before. I left it for 1 1/2 and the meat tasted so much better for letting it rest.

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I cannot explain to you how tasty this was, you need to try it for yourself. Its hot but as I have said before this isn’t called meat with chilli is it!! Believe me its hot and spicy but tasty; the flavours and depth in the sauce is not overpowered by the heat….trust me 🙂

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ultimate chilli con carne

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2015-09-07 12.16.19

by LuluLemonandLace

Marinade Ingredients:

1 kilo beef meat… brisket/braising/casserole meat…something with some fat content so it can be cooked slowly. Chopped into chunks.

2 cloves garlic grated

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp mustard (I used English)

1 tbsp ground cumin

4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2  a cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp mixed spice (I used my Aunt homemade spice)

Fresh Thyme leaves and oregano, a handful of both (you can use dried but if you have fresh use it)

1 extra picante dried chilli depending on heat (I used 1 as they are fairly hot and I add more chilli later, you can add two here)

2 sweet and dry peppers (these add a bit of sweetness to the paste)

Sauce Ingredients:

1 onion diced

2 celery sticks diced finely

1/2 birds eye chillies left whole and pricked with a knife ( I used 2 as I wanted this HOT)

1 garlic clove grated

1 cup red wine

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tin plum tomatoes

2 tsp brown sugar

water approx 200ml

1 red pepper diced chunky

1 tin red kidney beans drained

20g dark chocolate, I used 70% cocoa

Method:

First make your marinade, now it is better to do this the day before and leave overnight, if not make sure you give yourself at least two hours for the meat to marinate.

In a pestle and mortar add in your garlic and salt.

Bash until you create a paste.

You can make the next part in a pestle and mortar but it will take a long time, I scraped this garlic paste into a blender and placed in all the other marinade ingredients apart from the oil.

Blitz up for a few minutes and add oil a little at a time to loosen the mix. You may not need it all, and you may need a little water if you use it all and the mix is still not smooth.

Now coat the meat in this chilli paste, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge to marinate.

Once marinated heat a deep pan and start to brown the beef pieces in batches, no need to add oil there should be enough in the marinade.

Remove the meat with a slotted spoon once browned and set aside in a new bowl, keeping the marinade bowl and remaining scrapings of the chilli paste aside for later in the recipe.

In the same pan add the onions and celery, you can add a little more oil if it is sticking. Cook on a medium heat until soft.

Chuck in the whole chillies and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Now scrape all of the remaining marinade from the bowl and add to pan.

Add the tin tomatoes to the marinade bowl and use the liquid to scrape all the remaining chilli paste juices, mash the tomatoes up a bit too and set aside for a minute.

Add the wine to the pan and cook for a minute to let this reduce a little. Then add in the vinegar, then the tomatoes scraping the bowl as much as you can.

Add in the sugar and stir.

Now pop the beef back into the pan.

Pour the water into both the tomato bowl and beef bowl to get the last remaining juices (I do not like to waste any of it 😉 ) Add this to the pan, you need the liquid to just cover the beef if this water doesn’t then add a little more.

Taste the juice, you may not need to season it more as the marinade had salt in it. I added a little bit of cracked pepper. The colour is fairly pale at the moment and there may be a lot of liquid, don’t worry as it will reduce and become darker. Cover and turn heat to low and let this cook slowly…about 1 hour or until the beef is tender. Stir often during this time.

Once tender add the chocolate cook for 5 minutes uncovered. Stir it and you should see the colour become almost like dark chocolate.

Now add in your peppers and kidney beans. I add the peppers at the end so they have a bite and so you can taste them. We have already flavoured the chilli with the dried sweet peppers.

Cook this for a few more minutes uncovered then turn off and pop the lid on. Set aside until you are ready to eat this.

If you can I would make this ahead as it tastes so much better once it has sat for a few hours, or cook the day before. I left it for 1 1/2 and the meat tasted so much better for letting it rest.

I cannot explain to you how tasty this was, you need to try it for yourself. Its hot but as I have said before this isn’t called meat with chilli is it!! Believe me its hot and spicy but tasty; the flavours and depth in the sauce is not overpowered by the heat….trust me 🙂

Lulu xxx

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