Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Familiar territory

On Monday morning I dragged some mince out of the freezer to defrost so I could make chilli con carne (p148). It's not, strictly speaking, a recipe I've made before, but it's fairly similar to the way I usually cook mince.

You start by cooking onions and garlic with chopped green pepper. Green pepper: that's something I missed when I was writing my shopping list. Luckily I happened to have a random can of diced capsicum sitting in my cupboard, so I figured I could use that instead. Since it wasn't raw and crunchy, I decided not to add it in with the onions but to put it in later.


When the onions were cooked, I added the mince and browned it. After that you add the chilli powder, oregano, a heap of tomato paste and some water. I assume the water is there to dilute the tomato paste - interestingly, there are no tomatoes in this recipe. Anyway, all this went into the frying pan, along with the canned capsicum, and I boldly added a handful of jalapenos from a jar I had in the fridge.

At this point you have to  let it simmer for half an hour, to let the chilli reduce and thicken. After that, you add the kidney beans, and after another 10 minutes cooking, your chilli con carne is ready. I grabbed a tortilla bread out of the freezer, zapped it in the microwave, and ate it with my chilli.


I'm pretty happy with this recipe. As I've said, I often cook mince in a similar way - except that I usually use a can of tomatoes instead of just tomato paste and water. It's cheaper, and you can always add a dollop of tomato paste for a bit of extra flavour. That said, I think this recipe has a richer, fuller tomato flavour than my usual version. If you can taste it under the chilli, that is - adding those jalapenos certainly gave my chilli con carne an extra kick!


  1. I had no idea that diced capsicum came in a tin! haha.

  2. You learn somthing new every day! Actually it's the first time I've tired it - the tin had been sitting in my cupboard for a while. Works pretty good in this sort of dish actually.


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