baked chilli con carnerating:
In my opinion the way to make a chilli really stand out is the addition of cumin and to bake it in the oven rather than cook it on the hob. It works every time and is simple to make.
Total cooking time is around 1 hour of which 40 minutes are baking time.
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 cloves Garlic, crushed.
1 Medium Onion cut reasonably small but not blended
500g Lean Beef Mince (lean is best)
700g Passata (plain)
Stock (I mix Chicken and Beef stock using Knor 'Touch of Taste' Bouillion as I never have time to make my own)
2 rounded tablespoons plain Flour
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
2 tins of Kidney Beans in Water (400g tins)
3-4 green finger chillis (or however many for the heat you desire).
Fresh leaf Coriander - a pawful
Water to add
Preheat your oven to 190-200c and put a rack in the middle of it. Fan ovens @ 180c.
How to create it
* Heat a medium sized heavy pan to high heat on the hob. You will be putting the pan into the oven so a cast iron pan, such as a le Creuset, is ideal. When the pan is hot, add vegetable oil, wait for it to smoke, then add the onions and crushed garlic, stirring all the time until they turn golden brown. The high heat is important as the caramelisation of the onions is important to the taste.
* Add the beef mince to the pan and cook it, stirring all the time - you are aiming for the beef to be almost free of any water - this slightly browned/burnt taste is also important for the flavour. You will know when it is ready when there is little steam coming from the pan - the flavour you are aiming for here is a slight caramelisation of the beef.
* Bring the heat down and add the Cumin, stirring it in. Then add the flour and stir it in for 1 minute. This will eventually thicken the chilli
* Add the passata and stir it in. It may look a little gloopy at this stage but will thin out on the addition of water at a later stage.
* If you are using "Touch of Taste' Bouillion add 2 teaspoons of both chicken and beef stock. Otherwise use 2 cubes of each. Using home made stock is an option, but because it is difficult to judge the amount of water you need, stock boullion is better. Stir it in.
* Drain and add the kidney beans. Stir them in. Add the chillis and stir them in. To prepare the chillis without getting chilli all over your fingers cut the chillis lengthways but not all the way, then use scissors to snip every few millimetres perpendicular to the cut you made. Include the seeds as required.
* Add water to thin the chilli out a bit as when it goes in the oven a lot of the water will evaporate. 250ml should do it.
* Pop it in the oven and bake it! Check it after 30 minutes. You will see the top browning a little and a crust forming which needs to be stirred into the chilli - this gives a lovely flavour. Remember to stir the whole chilli to ensure you have mixed everything again. You may need to add a little more water at this stage
* Take it out after 40 minutes and stir the crust in again. It is ready.
* Sprinkle fresh coriander over the chilli and serve at the table with Whatever you fancy. We have basmati rice, sour cream and chopped onions to sprinkle on top