Shock horror, we’ve lost our sweet tooth. I still love the process of making and baking cakes but once I’ve had a slice I’m bored with it. 10 days ago I made a banana and caramel loaf. It’s still half uneaten in the tin. What has happened to us? One advantage though is that it is pushing me to discover more savoury foods.
I’m doing some work with the good people at BBC Good Food Show at the moment this gives me the opportunity to try some selected products from producers at the show. One of these is chipotle from Edible Ornamentals. I’ve recently seen and heard lots about chipotle but had yet seen them for sale as Derbyshire can be a bit of a culinary backwater when it comes to more unusual ingredients.
Chipotle is a smoked and dried jalapeno pepper and looks like a burnt, dried out chilli. As soon as I added the chopped chilli to the pan you could smell the smokiness. As Hubs declared this to be the best chilli con carne I’ve ever made here is the recipe.
Now, I like to serve chilli con carne with a good dollop of cottage cheese. Yes not authentic in the slightest and Hubs recoils in horror at just the thought of stirring this lumpy cheese in to a chilli but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
As I’ve learnt over the years the best chilli con carnes are ones that have been slowly cooked. Yes you can make them quickly but they are at their best when they have slowly simmered for a few hours then sat for a day in the fridge. It seems to help all the flavours and spices to meld together and up the chilli kick.
The thing I like about chilli is that it is a perfect way to use up odds and ends of ingredients. While the recipe below mentions an onion I have been known to replace this with a leek before just because it needed using up.
it’s worth fine chopping the vegetables. I just bung it in the blender for a quick pulse. By fine chopping the vegetables it bulks out the meat and conveniently hides the veg better. If only Hubs knew how many vegetables I secretly hide in meaty meals.
Chipotle Chilli Con Carne
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 sticks of celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 25g chorizo, cubed
- 500g minced beef
- 1 chipotle chilli, finely chopped
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 200ml beef stock
- 150g button mushrooms, halved
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 heaped tablespoon of cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- 1 tin kidney beans
- Put the onion, garlic, celery and carrot in the blender and pulse until finely chopped.
- In a large saucepan heat the olive oil then fry the chopped vegetables until they begin to soften.
- Add the chorizo and mince to the pan and fry until the mince is browned.
- Stir in all the remaining ingredients apart from the kidney beans. Simmer for 2 hours. Stir every 15 minutes to stop the chilli sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the kidney beans. Simmer for a further 10 minutes then serve. This chilli tastes even better the following day.