Chilli con Carne toppings have become pretty elaborate at our house, extending but not restricted to sour cream, cheese, salsa, tomatoes, carrot, red onion and coriander. Cornbread is also becoming a regular companion and the recipe that is floating my boat at the moment is Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. The leftovers of the cornbread make kick butt croutons and a crunchy topping for nachos.
My chilli ends up different every time but I think I’ve got down all the essentials. It looks like a lot of spices but at this point I knows what I likes, so don’t be tight fisted the cumin and paprika. Take it easy on the sugar and the salt to start off with because the flavour will develop over the hours it’s simmering and you can’t do anything to take back too much salt. Do your major tasting and seasoning tweaking about 15 minutes before serving, making sure that you get a nice balance with the Tabasco, sugar and salt. As always, make changes to suit your personal taste and leave out the chillies if they’re not your bag. Chipotle chiles usually come in tins and are smoked jalapenos, they add really good flavour and spice but leave them out if you can’t track any down (you can usually find them in stores that stock Mexican or American food products).
Chilli con Carne
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Chilli con Jamie from Jamie’s America.
2 onions, chopped
2 capsicums, chopped
10 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp ground cumin
3 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 kg beef mince
3-4 fresh chillies, chopped finely (de-seed if you want it milder)
1 chipotle chilli, chopped finely
2 tins chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar
2 tbsp decaf instant coffee
2 tins red kidney beans
10 drops liquid smoke
Tabasco to taste
In a large pot over medium heat add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, then the onions, capsicum and garlic.
Fry until the onion is translucent then add the cumin, paprika, oregano, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks and stir until fragrant.
Add the beef mince and cook until it has turned from pink to brown.
Stir in the fresh chillies, chipotle chilli, tomatoes, maple syrup and instant coffee.
Add in 1 cup of water and lower to a bare simmer, allow to bubble for 1 hour.
Add in the drained red kidney beans and cook for 1-2 hours, adding water as necessary to stop it from sticking on the bottom of the pot.
Taste and add salt and pepper to season.
Add liquid smoke and Tabasco.
Serve with sour cream, cheese and Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread.