Heat-Less Chilli Con Carne

I have only recently realised that the difference between a GOOD chilli and a GREAT chilli is its toppings.  I mean, I can’t tell you the number of times I have made a good batch that just seems to slightly miss the mark when it reaches the plate.  But I have now learned that making that final effort before serving, not only makes the chilli appear more appetizing, but it gives it a zap of flavour that makes a world of difference! My little Chica also enjoys picking and choosing her own toppings, which like I have said before, only aids the completion of supper in a timely manner.  Sans nagging.  

This recipe for chilli con carne is of course packed with veggies, but ironically it doesn’t actually have any dried or fresh chillis in it as I was looking for flavour for the kiddos rather than any heat.  Both really enjoyed their bowls, if fact my boyo had a second one too!

Heat-Less Chilli Con Carne

Serves 6

Olive Oil
1 red onion, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and finely diced
3 sticks of celery, washed and diced
1 red bell pepper, cut into cubed
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground corriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 large sprig of rosemary, leaves removed from stalk and chopped
2 tbsp of thyme leaves
1 family sized pack of ground lean beef mince
1 small can of tomato puree
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 large slosh of Worcestershire sauce
1 can of black beans

In a large based pan, on a medium high heat, in a glug of olive oil, lightly brown the onion, carrots, celery, red pepper and garlic. When the vegetables are turning golden, add the spices and herbs and allow to sizzle and release their flavours for a couple of minutes. 

Move the veggies to the edges and then add the beef mince to the centre so that it starts to sizzle on the base of the pan.  Season the beef well with salt and lots of black pepper.  Let the beef brown and almost start to caramelise into little nuggets before turning.

When all the beef is browned, stir in the tomato purée and allow it to cook out slightly on the heat.  It will just remove a little of the tartness from the tomatoes.  Then add the crushed tomatoes, Worcestshire sauce and black beans.

Allow to simmer for at least 45 minutes, checking occasionally to ensure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. You might need to add a little glug of water to the pan just so it doesn’t dry out.  

I serve the chilli with long grain brown rice and a selection of the following…

Sour cream, spring onions, chopped corriander, crushed or cubed avocado, chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped fresh chillis, grilled corn on the cob kernels, crumbled feta, grated cheddar, chunks of a cream blue cheese, crunched up tortilla chips.

Then just tuck in and enjoy a GREAT bowl of chilli x 


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