Sunday, 30 October 2011

Chilli Con Carne

A Texan woman once told me "only poor people and vegetarians put beans in" so I suppose this here is a Texan-style chilli con carne. After relentless experimentation, I've managed to make the most flavoursome chilli to date and the trick was to make it as simple as possible. No beans. No tomatoes.

A combination of ancho chilli, cascabel, chipotle and one small habernero was to be my chilli base (you can buy these at Casa Mexico) and a scotch bonnet was thrown in for some ferociousness. The result was a deep, smoky building heat quite unlike any other, with a layer of fruitiness from the scotch bonnet. Scooped up with tortilla chips (I deep fried corn tortillas...) and salsa, the textural difference in using chunks of beef rather than mince is stark. It's messy but I prefer having more texture to get my teeth around.

Chilli Con Carne

Serves 6ish

450gr braising steak
450gr beef shin
2 cascabel chillis
1 ancho chilli
1 habenero chilli
2 chipotle chillis in adobo
1 scotch bonnet
2 tsp Mexican oregano (or use normal)
1 large onion
1 carrot
2 ribs of celery
6 fat cloves of garlic
1 stick of cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 can of lager
500ml of beef stock

Chop the meat into chunks and brown well. Remove from the pan. Meanwhile, rehydrate the habenero, cascabel and ancho chillis in hot water. Dice the onion, carrot and celery and mince the garlic. Throw this into the pan to fry in the beef juices and fat. Cook slowly until softened and lightly golden. Mince the chillis with the chipotles and add to the onion mixture with the oregano. Add the beef back in and then add the cumin and cinnamon stick. Stir well.

Add the can of lager and then bring to the simmer. It will be all foamy but will calm down. Simmer until reduced by half, then add the beef stock and simmer slowly for at least 4 hours. Check it occasionally and add water if it becomes too dry. It tastes better the next day, but is still pretty damn good on the same day.


Kavey said...

I used some ancho poblano and chipotle in a Valentine Warner chile recipe a few weeks back, really liked the flavour they gave. His recipe is definitely not Texan, as it has tomatoes, though no beans...

This looks good!

gastrogeek said...

Looks utterly sublime. Great tip off about Casa Mexico - been wondering where to get decent chillies from as Sainos in Dalston only seems to sell chipotle flavoured ketchup - not quite the same...!

The Greedy Fork said...

Looks great. I've not had chilli con carne for ages. For me, it needs to have red kidney beans to make it proper though.

Lager's a new one on me, I usually use Jack Daniels.

PDH said...

I think its time I revisited my recipe and check out the chilli choices at Casa Mexico. I love using shin as well, best for anything you want to slow cooked a LONG time. It looks bloody lovely as well!

The Grubworm said...

Loving your use of the chillies to get just the right heat and flavour, and of course the long slow cook. I've never tried it without tomatoes before, looking at this has made me want to try.

Something I always try to add for a bit of depth is the darkest of dark chocolate, grated as finely as possible. It adds an indefinable something to it.

Shu Han said...

your chilli con carne looks absolutely delicious, esp with the slow-barising for 4 hours. okay i also quite recently blogged about chilli, i'm not vegetarian, but I'm poor, so my chilli has red kidney beans, and I'm not texan, so mine is ready in less than an hour. gulps.