Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kitchen Adventures #1 ~ Chilli Con Carne

Why don’t men cook at home?
No one’s invented a steak that will fit in the toaster.



This is in no way meant to be a cooking blog, but as someone who takes photos of every single meal that she makes, I thought I’d write about my more successful incarnations. And so here we have the great chilli con carne:

It may look like I took a photo of this in hall, but if you look carefully, you can see that although the tray and the glass may have been *acquired* from hall, the cutlery certainly is not! And also, there lies my trusty RSC 2009. Now who takes a pen to hall?!

I was going to post a series of photos of my chilli con carne through the ages, but it looks like I didn’t take that many at all, and if you think I am sad enough to go trawling through my Facebook photo history for said elusive photos then you are mistaken – I only went as far back as Easter 2010: Part I before giving up.

On reflection, the last time I made this dish was sometime last term, and it must have tasted good enough to steal…because it did get stolen. I think I’ve almost recovered from that trauma (in which I missed my very important lectures to sit and stare at the wall for a few hours in rage) so I feel that it would be somewhat therapeutic to share. After all, sharing is caring. And revealing is healing.


Minced beef
1-2 Onions
Clove of garlic
6 Tomatoes (or a large tin of tomatoes in sauce)
Red or green pepper
215g tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce (important, otherwise you have to make your own chilli sauce!)
Chopped Chilli (optional)
White wine (optional)
Black pepper
Chilli powder


1. Chop the onions and garlic into small pieces and fry them until slightly brown.
2. Add the beef; season with salt and pepper and fry until cooked. I tend to use a third or half of a 500g pack. Normally it’s enough to last me for two meals!
3. Chop up the pepper and chuck that in, along with the tomatoes and the kidney beans.
4. Pour in half a cup of white wine – I didn’t use white wine in any of my other attempts, and must say that the wine does bring a new level to the flavour. If you don’t want to use alcohol, half a cup of water will do.
5. Add chilli powder or chopped up chilli at your discretion.
6. Let the mysterious mush simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes, or longer, if possible – the longer you cook this, the more flavour will seep into the beef.
7. Once the sauce has reduced to your satisfaction, serve with rice!

If you don’t have the chilli sauce then you can either buy pre-made sauce, or make your own from a combination of: tomato puree, water, sugar, chilli powder, paprika, salt, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, coriander, oregano, onion powder, basil, and it says on the back of my tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce. So yeah, buy the kidney beans in chilli sauce. From Tesco.

Finally, you may notice that I haven’t been very specific with the quantities of ingredients used – that’s because I tend to make it up on the spot so have never actually taken note of the ratios. This may or may not be a good thing...I’ll leave this up to you to decide.

Enjoy! ^_^