Procrastination gets a bad rap. It’s the stepchild of responsible and effective time usage. My relationship with procrastination has been going strong for years, we’ve moved in together, bought plenty of useless utensils and we’ve planned many vacations, just for the two of us. If it weren’t for procrastinating, my garden wouldn’t look as lush, my cupboards would be a mess and my nails would stay unpainted. The best thing procrastinating has brought into my life, is cooking.
Whenever I have a tedious work task, house admin or obligated social event looming, you can most likely find me researching a new recipe or cooking up a storm. Chili Con Carne is a dish which I discovered while avoiding my bank statements. It isn't very popular in South Africa, oddly, because it’s downright delectable. My American friend introduced me to the name, and since that day I’ve been trying to perfect my flavours.
Whenever I make Chili Con Carne, it seems to be after 11pm, as a friend recently pointed out. # MakingMinceAtMidnight, is what she called it. Cooking Chili at midnight is clearly the secret ingredient to my chili making success. Here’s my recent stab at the dish:
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 onions, chopped
• 1 green / red pepper, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1kg lean beef mince
• 250ml red wine
• 2 cans chopped tomatoes
• 3 tbsp tomato purée
• 3 tsp dried chilli flakes
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• 2 tsp ground cumin
• 2 tsp ground coriander
• 1 stick cinnamon / dash of ground cinnamon
• good shake of Worcestershire sauce
• 1 beef stock cube
• 2 tbsp of brown sugar
• 2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
• Cheddar cheese for serving
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan with a lid and fry the onion until translucent. Add the green pepper and garlic until softened. Increase the heat and add the mince, cooking quickly until browned and breaking down any chunks of meat with a wooden spoon.
Pour in the red wine and boil for 2–3 minutes. (pour yourself a glass while you’re at it)
Stir in the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, fresh chilli or chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and Worcestershire sauce and stock. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the mixture is rich and thickened.
Smell it, taste it. Then decide if you want to add the brown sugar.
Add the kidney beans. Cook for a further 10 minutes, uncovered, before removing from the heat, adding any extra seasoning if necessary.
Serve with grated cheddar cheese... and Netflix & Chili!
I would love some tips from the Chili Con Carne making experts, like those in @steemkitchen. Also note, the amounts above are estimates, seeing that I decide to make the dish at arb hours (picture above and below as evidence). My food photography needs some expert advice too :)