Beef Chilli

Beef Chilli

Beef Chilli always seems to go down well with most people, we love it in our house.

It’s one of those dishes you can just throw together, I don’t think any two of my chillies I’ve cooked have been the same!

I have put this recipe together though to cover the basics and a few tips to help you with the cooking techniques.

Tomatoes

For me a Beef chilli has to be heavy on the tomatoes. Skimp on the tomatoes and your going to end up with a lacklustre dish. Don’t forget in some parts of the US a Chilli is referred to as ‘A big bowl of red’, well where do you think that red comes from?

I recommend using a hefty amount of tomato paste, a teaspoon just isn’t going to cut it here! I also add tinned tomatoes as well.

Spices & Herbs For Your Beef Chilli

Chilli has its origins in Mexico. Chilli Con Carne is really just a poor imitation of a Mexican Mole. Just because it’s an imitation though doesn’t mean it can’t be a great dish in it’s own right.

So thinking about the Mexican influence, the spices that you simply must have are chilli (obviously), ground cumin and oregano. I also add fresh coriander but that may not be to everyones taste.

A little cinnamon works nicely too but I’ve missed that out on this recipe. If you want to try it add a 1/4 teaspoon and see how you get on with that.

Sweet & Sour

A lot of dishes that are tomato based need something a little extra to bring it together. A combination of something sweet and sour works wonders.

For this recipe I’ve kept it simple and just used a little sugar and vinegar. You could replace the vinegar for a squeeze of lime.

Beef Chilli Chillies!

Obviously chillies are a major part of a chilli! You don’t have to use fresh though. If you have no fresh just increase the amount of dried your using.

Fresh chillies do add a nice zing though and of course you can play around with the varieties your using. In this one I used a combination of standard red chillies and Scotch Bonnets.

Also you could try getting a variety of dried chilli pods and grinding your own chilli powder. I particularly like a combination of Ancho, Pasilla, Mullato and chillies de Arbol.

Of course you could try adding one of my ‘Ome Made Rub-a-Dub-Rubs to the mix. I have 2 which are South American based and ideal for a chilli. They are Spirit Of The Jaguar Rub-a-Dub-Rub and Adobo Loco Rub-a-Dub-Rub. You can find them here omemade.co.uk

Cooking

To get the best flavours you need to cook your chilli correctly. It’s quite easy.

First off, get those onions cooked. You want to cook all the moisture out of the onions, the salt helps drawer the moisture out. You then want to bring out the natural sweetness of the onion by slightly caramelising the onion, which is why you cook it ’till it’s starting to turn a pale brown colour.

Brown your meat. Simple, it seals it and caramelises all those lovely juices. To achieve this make sure you have a pan big enough so the meat can spread out, if it’s overcrowded it will just steam.

Evaporate any liquid before adding the tomato paste, if you do you know you’re concentrating all those flavours in the pan and everything is going to be cooked out correctly.

And that’s about it, Here’s the recipe. Enjoy and don’t forget to add your own embellishments to make it your perfect Chilli recipe!

Beef Chilli

Beef Chilli

‘Ome
A basic recipe for a spicy, tomato rich beef chilli.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g minced beef
  • 150 g dried beans I use a mix of kidney and pinto, soaked overnight. Or you could use tinned (400g tin will be fine)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1.5 tbsp oil (neutral flavoured)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 each red chillies Add more or less to taste, If you like it hot, try some fresh Scotch bonnets.
  • 1 each red pepper diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp 'Ome Made Adobo Loco Rub-a-Dub-Rub (optional)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vinegar White/red wine or cider work best
  • 1 each beef stock cube
  • 40 g tomato paste (a hefty tablespoon)
  • 400 g chopped tinned tomato
  • 400 ml water an empty tomato cans worth!
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano finely chopped (use 1 tsp dried to replace fresh)
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander finely chopped (optional)
  • 6 good turns of freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Drain the beans and cover with fresh water plus an inch. Bring to the boil and boil for ten minutes. Once boiled turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 20 minutes then drain.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the onion and salt. Cook gently for 10 minutes until the onion is starting to brown.
  • Add the garlic to the pan and fry for 20 seconds.
  • Add the minced beef to the pan. Stir to break up and cook until browned.
  • Add the dried spices and black pepper to the meat and continue to fry for a minute.
  • Add the fresh chillies and red pepper and stir
  • Add the sugar, vinegar and the crumbled stock cube, turn up the heat to reduce any liquid in the pan.
  • Once most of the liquid has evaporated add the tomato paste and fry for a further 20 seconds or so,
  • add the tinned tomatoes plus 1 can full of water.
  • Add the cooked and drained beans, the oregano and coriander.
  • Cook on a gentle simmer for 50 minutes to and hour, add more water if needed. Or alternatively put in a slow cooker to finish cooking, give it a t least 3 hours. Or you can put in a low oven at 100C for at least 3 hours but up to 5. Just check the liquid levels and add more water if needed.
Keyword Beef, carne, chilli, con
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Stir-Up-Sunday…

If you haven’t already made your Christmas Puddings then Sunday the 24th of November is the time to do it, the last Sunday before the start of Advent and traditionally known as Stir Up Sunday.

Here is a fail safe recipe for a lovely moist, boozy pudding!

 

Ingredients

 

600g mixed dried fruit and nuts. I use roughly 500g of mixed dried fruits (predominately raisins, sultanas and currants with a few cranberries, sour cherries and a good handful of glace cherries). For the nuts I usually use nibbed almonds.

500ml bottle of Guinness

300ml port

100ml brandy

 

200g shredded suet (proper beef is best, you can use vegetarian of course)

zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon

2 medium cooking apples grated

freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

250g muscavado sugar

75g plain flour

3 medium eggs beaten

150g breadcrumbs

 

Method

 

Soak the fruit for at least 24 hours in the alcohol (if you don’t want to use alcohol then you could use tea and orange juice)

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together. Get the whole family to give it a stir and make a wish at the same time (my wish is that the pudding turns out ok!)

Grease a large pudding bowl and a few smaller ones (ideal for giving away to friends, family and neighbours), pour the pudding mixture into the bowls leaving an inch from the top.

Cover the mixture with a circle of greaseproof paper. cover the bowl with tinfoil (with a pleat in it to allow for the pudding to expand) and then place in a large pan on a trivet with a folded strip of tin foil underneath to allow you to lift the pudding out. Pour water into the pan to come up 2/3 of the way up the pudding basin.

Put the pan on to boil. When boiling turn down to a simmer and cover the pan. A large pudding will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours to cook (test with a skewer, the skewer wants to come out clean). I usually take the pan off the heat but leave the pudding in the water for an hour just to make sure the pudding is evenly cooked through.

Lift the pudding out of the water and set aside to cool. Once cool I take the pudding out of the basin, wrap in greaseproof paper, then cling film and then tin foil. I then put in a spare cool box where it stays until the big day.

On the day you are eating having the pudding it can either be put back in the basin it was cooked in and boiled again for an hour to heat up or it can be microwaved in short bursts (a couple of minutes at a time leaving a minute in between).

To serve place the pudding on a heatproof plate. Pour a couple tablespoons of Brandy into a ladle and gently heat over a low flame. Once the Brandy starts to shimmer pour over the pudding and light with a match.

Remember to have a bucket of water and fire extinguisher on hand… just in case!

Merry Christmas!

Flaming Pudding!

P.S try slices of leftover pudding fried in butter for breakfast… Fantastic!

‘Ome Made Curry Secret II

I’ve already  done a post on making your own curry masala. I thought it was about time I did one on making a curry sauce.

If you’ve had a go at making your own curry masala that’s great but if not then this can be made with curry powder, paste or a basic mix of spices that I will put in the recipe.

One of the most important processes in making a good curry sauce is the cooking of the onions. The idea is to cook as much water out of the onions as possible.

My method for doing this is to puree the onions, along with the garlic and Dj stirring blogginger, in a liquidizer or food processor before they are cooked. If you haven’t got a liquidizer or food processor the onions, garlic and ginger can be cooked and then a hand blender can be used to puree your sauce at a later stage. If you have none of the above appliances you can still make a good curry, it just won’t have that texture of an Indian restaurant cooked curry.

With the following recipe don’t worry about exact quantities, it’s more about the technique and I’m sure most people will customise the recipe to their own taste.

Once the sauce is made it’s up to you what you want to serve in it. I will also give some pointers on how to turn this basic curry sauce into your favourite Indian curry.

 

Basic Curry Sauce (enough to feed four people with about 1lb/500g of main ingredient)

 

1 large onion (or 2 medium) roughly chopped (finely chopped if you have no way of pureeing).

3 big fat cloves of garlic (or more if you’re a real garlic fan) chopped roughly

2oz fresh ginger (a piece as big as your thumb) chopped

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 level tablespoon of curry masala/powder/paste (or 1 level teaspoon of ground cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, ground ginger and chilli powder)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 240g tin chopped tomatoes

1lb/500g of main ingredient (chicken, lamb, beef, prawn or vegetables)

Chopped fresh coriander to finish the curry off (and some turmeric, allspice, dried mint and garam masala)

 

Method

 

In a liquidizer/food processor/blender puree your onion garlic and ginger (they can be mixed)

In a large pan put about 6 tablespoons of oil (not olive or anything else strong flavoured). If you have ghee that’s even better.

Gently heat the oil and add the whole spices. Fry for about 30 seconds.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Fry gently for about 10 minutes.

Add your masala/curry powder/paste and fry gently for a minute or so adding a splash of water if it’s catching.

Stir in the tomato puree and again cook for a minute.

Add the salt and sugar.

Now add some water to the pan (about 500ml). Bring to the simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the mixture has reduced and quite thick again.

curry cooking blogIf you didn’t puree your mixture earlier then you can puree the sauce now using a hand blender.

The chopped tomatoes can now be added (if you want a really smooth sauce you can blend again).

The sauce should be a nice thick consistency, if it’s too thick add a bit more water or stock.

Bring the sauce to the simmer and add your main ingredient.

Diced chicken will take around 20 – 30 minutes to cook. Diced lamb wants to cook for a good 75 – 90 minutes. If you are doing a vegetable curry I would par-cook the vegetables and then finish them off in the sauce for the last 20 minutes.

 

20 minutes before your curry is ready add the chopped coriander and a pinch of all spice, turmeric and dried mint and a teaspoon of garam masala.

Check for seasoning and add a little more salt if needed.

If the sauce is a little runny finish the curry off on the hob without the lid on.

I have to mention at this point that as I am writing this Kit is preparing some onions for a curry tonight. I also have to mention that Kit has forgotten to put the lid on the blender when pureeing the onions… I don’t think I have to mention that the kitchen is now covered with onions!

Anyway, where was I… Yes cook for a further 20 minutes and your curry will be ready.

 

 

 

Variations

 

The above recipe makes a medium strength curry but it’s easy to adapt and add other ingredients to make different variations.

For a Madras add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (fresh or bottled), 1 tablespoon of ground almonds and 2 teaspoons of chilli powder 20 minutes from the end of cooking.

For a Korma add 1 tablespoon ground almonds, 3 tablespoons of cream and 2 teaspoons of sugar 20 minutes from the end of cooking.

For a Dupiaza fry 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 roughly chopped onion until caramelised add to the curry 20 minutes before the end of cooking.

For a Rogan Josh toast some flaked almonds, roughly chop 4 large tomatoes and add to the curry 20 minutes before the end of cooking.

For a Jalfrezi add 4 roughly chopped tomatoes, 6 chillies roughly sliced and two teaspoons of turmeric 20 minutes before the end of cooking.

For a  Tikka Massala  add 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup, 2 tablespoons of cream and 1 teaspoon of sugar 20 minutes from the end of cooking.

 

Or of course you can experiment with your own ‘add ins’!

 

I can especially recommend a curry made with the leftover Christmas turkey, cranberry sauce and cream… to be honest I think it went down better than the Christmas dinner itself!

 

Speaking of Christmas… I still haven’t done the cake or pudding!