Chilli Con Carne

It’s official, winter is on its way. It’s hard to describe but there is a notable difference out there – it has definitely got colder! Ok so with winter comes dark mornings and dark evenings – but there also comes nights curled up in front of an open fire with a delicious stew. One of my favourite recipes that is just perfect for a cold winter night in, is Chilli. Everyone has their own way of cooking it, from adding chocolate to compliment the chilli, to using slow cooked brisket – we all have a way that works for us. For me, the addition of smoky spices such as smoked paprika and chipotle paste is my tried and tested piece of perfection (if I do say so myself!). It’s really important that you give the chilli a reasonable amount of time to simmer down – and to let all of those flavours infuse. The perfect opportunity to get everything in a pan cooking away – and to enjoy a few minutes of blissful peace to yourself in the bath. Sound too good to be true? Why not put it to the test…

Caveat – this is purposely meant to be an easy recipe that you can make after a hard day at work – it’s nothing fancy, but it does taste pretty damn good! INGREDIENTS

1x Red Onion, diced

2 Cloves of Garlic

1x Red Birds Eye Chilli

2 tsp Ground Cumin

2tsp Smoked Paprika

1tsp Chipotle paste

500g Lean Mince

1x Can Chopped Tomatoes

1x Can of Kidney Beans

190ml Beef Stock

260g Spinach, washed

4 Carrots

METHOD

To start, heat up some mild olive oil in a frying pan. Once it is hot enough, add the onion and carrot and allow them to cook, stirring occasionally. After about 5 minutes the onion should be turning translucent in colour. Once this starts to happen, add the garlic, chilli, cumin, smoked paprika and chipotle paste and allow to cook for another minute.

Before adding the mince, remove it from its packaging and break it up slightly with your fingers – this will make your job a lot easier in a moment! Add the mince to the pan, and allow to cook stirring occasionally. Once about 60% of the mince has turned grey, add the tomatoes and beef stock and mix in. Once mixed in, add the kidney beans, and then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 30-60 minutes, depending on how long you can wait!

Don’t worry – at this point the chilli really doesn’t look very appealing – in fact you’re probably thinking it looks quite watery – but that’ll all be solved by the time you come back from your bath! You’ll need to make sure that there is enough liquid in the pan – so check it a couple of times and add a little bit more water if required.

Once you’re happy that it’s ready – add as much of the spinach as you can get in – I can usually squeeze a whole bag in there!

And finally, season to taste – and then enjoy!

This recipe goes really well with my refried beans recipe which you can find here, and also with some smashed avocado and soured cream. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.

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