Chilli con carne is a Tex Mex classic. Makes a big pot, flex the ingredients according to the quantity you’re making or your taste. We always make a huge batch and freeze portions we don’t use on the day.
- Vegetable oil
- 4 medium onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 celery sticks finely chopped
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 or 2 peppers (capsicums, bell peppers), any colour, diced
- 1kg diced stewing beef, I like shin, blade etc
- 0.5kg minced (ground) beef
- 3 tins chopped tomatoes (with nothing added, ie. no herbs, spices, salt)
- 1-2 tbsp chunky peanut butter
- 1 tin kidney beans (in water, try to avoid sugar and salt added)
- 4-6 dried chipotles (depending on size and heat required), or ready flaked chipotles
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano
- Salt to taste (I find 1 teaspoon per tin of tomatoes a good guide for anything)
- Ground pepper to taste
- If you are using dried chillies, put them in enough boiling water to cover them and let them soak while you prepare the rest of the dish
- Put the oven on to heat at about 165C or 150C for a fan oven.
- Start the dish in a big enough pot that is ovenproof.
- Put the onions, carrots and finely sliced celery in some oil and soften them gently till the onions are translucent and soft. This can take about 20 minutes.
- Add the garlic once the onions are soft. (Garlic cooks much quicker than the onions and easily burns to the bottom of the pot if put in too early.)
- Now add the tinned tomatoes, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper. Keep the heat low allowing everything to get hot.
- Drain the soaked chipotles (put the drained water in the pot for extra flavour), take off any tough stalks, chop and put everything, including the seeds in the pot.
- Heat a separate frying pan. Brown off all the meat, in batches or it will produce too much fluid and be a dull grey colour, and put in the pot as you brown it.
- Lastly, add the peanut butter.
- Place in the oven for about 2-3 hours depending on the beef you have.
- One hour before the end of cooking add the chopped peppers. If you add them too soon they will dissolve
- Take out and add the drained kidney beans, then put back in for another 30 minutes. (The kidney beans are already cooked and can go to mush if added at the beginning.)
We serve with guacamole, sour cream and coriander, and wraps. Enjoy.
I think the mix of ground beef and beef chunks is best for Chilli con carne. Don’t cut the beef too small or it can “dry out” and be hard, about 3cm square is good. I like to serve with rice.