Sunday, October 16, 2005

El Viaje de Nuestro Jomer

Remember how last week I ended up with a kilo of super-expensive minced beef because the butcher didn't know what "topside" was? I used half of it last week to make special meatballs, and I used the other half yesterday to make what I'm pretty sure is the only remaining beef-mince recipe in How to Eat, the children's chilli con carne.

149. Clove-Hot Chilli Con Carne

This is a dish that Nigella says she makes for her children, with the heat in the dish coming from spices (cloves and cinnamon), rather than the fierce rasp of chilli. She says you can use tinned beans, which you just add at the end, or dried beans, which you soak and then cook with garlic, celery, onions and porcini mushrooms. I decided to go for the dried option so as to get the maximum flavour.

To do the meat, you cook some onions, carrots, dried chilli etc. in some oil before adding the beef and spices. Then you're supposed to add a tin of tomatoes. You know how in my last post on Friday, I lamented the fact that I had no tinned tomatoes in my pantry? Well, come Saturday, I still hadn't had time to go out shopping, I'd forgotten about my lack of tomatoes altogether, and only realised this when I got to this stage of the recipe. D'oh! I asked my dad to go to the corner store to get some, and he came back with two fresh tomatoes! And after the effort he'd put in, I couldn't very well tell him that they weren't what I wanted (it was my fault, after all, for not specifying tinned tomatoes), so I just chopped them up and chucked them in, with a bit of extra water and ketchup. Then I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. After this, all I had to do was add barbecue sauce, brown sugar and the drained beans, then let it simmer for an hour.

Chilli con Carne - yesterday

So I cooked it yesterday (Saturday), and left it overnight. Today I got up at about midday, and had it for lunch with my brother in front of the TV. There was a Whose Line is it Anyway? marathon on TV (the British version), which was schweet.

One bowl

We really liked the chilli - there are so many different flavours in it (cinnamon, cloves, porcini), and they work really well together. The only complaint I'd have about it, (which I know is stupid seeing as this chilli is for children, and thus intentionally mild), is that it wasn't hot enough. I could have definitely done with a few extra dried chillis added at the start. We just drowned it in tabasco when eating it, which was fantastic. It kind of reminded me of the "Five-Alarm Chilli" that Ned Flanders makes in the episode of The Simpsons where Homer goes to the Chilli Cook-Off.

Homer: Five-alarm chili, eh?
Ned: Uh-huh.
Homer: he eats some... One, two... hey, what's the big idea?
Ned: Oh, I admit it. It's only two-alarm, two-and-a-half, tops. I just wanted to be a big man in front of the kids.
Todd: Daddy? Are you going to jail?
Ned: We'll see, son. We'll see.

We've got heaps leftover, which I am going to leave in the fridge and pick out throughout the week. Woohoo!

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