A tale of two best friends on opposite sides of the world and their quest to cook everything from
Stephanie Alexander's 'The Cook's Companion'

Monday, July 5, 2010

Chilli con Carne

Chilli con Carne

I had been feeling a little tired lately, so decided that a week of red meat dinners to boost my iron would hopefully sort me out. I had a flick through Stephanie, but nothing from the beef or lamb sections really took my fancy. In the dried beans section, I came across the recipe for chilli con carne and thought I would give that a go.

Chilli Con Carne
adapted from Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion, pg 137
serves 4

250g dried red kidney beans
500g stewing steak, cut into chunks
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, diced
4 rashers bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
500g tomatoes, peeled seeded and chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
200g curly kale

Soak beans overnight in water, then drain and rinse. Put beans into casserole dish with meat, onions, bacon, garlic and bay leaf and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, until beans are tender.

Heat oil in a frying pan and stir in tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer for about 10 minutes until tomatoes collapse. Tip over meat and beans, adding kale and stir in well and check for seasoning. Simmer on stove top for 1 hour.

Chilli con Carne

Served with smashed potatoes.

Hubby's words of wisdom: Something is missing. He was right. The depth of flavour wasn't there and even though I changed the flavour by adding the bacon and kale to the original recipe it didn't taste anything like a chilli con carne. The second night we had this I added some more flavours (smoked paprika, cumin, tomato paste, worchester sauce) to pep it up a bit. It was better, but still not fantastic.

This is one recipe I don't think I'll be following again. I also don't think I'd bother peeling and seeding the tomatoes again, I'd just use canned. This recipe did however, remind me how much better it is to cook up your own dried beans, rather than using the canned ones. The texture and flavour are just so much better.

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