Now one of the things I like to do when cooking is take a recipe that is either meat based or vegetarian based and change it to fit the changing moods of my family. Chilli Con Carne is one of those dishes. The basic recipe is the same but you either add tonnes of veg or minced beef to change it from veggie to meat loving.
Chilli Con Carne The Gracey Way
5 tbsp veg oil
1 or 2 large onions (depends how much you like onion, we happen to love onion)
2 to 3 dried chillies crushed (for the veggie version you may want to reduce the chilli as it can become too spicy when just veggies are cooked as they absorb lots of heat. Add a small amount taste and then adjust to what your family prefers)
3 cloves garlic
1lb mince beef, for veggie version add aubergine, carrot, celery, bell peppers anything that takes your fancy, mushrooms are good as they give a meaty texture
(again for veggie version add a)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cumin, I crush these in the pestle and mortar with the chillies
2 400g canned of chopped tomatoes
2 small squares of high cocoa dark chocolate
2 400g tins of kidney beans
3 cubes of sugar
1 beef or veggie stock cube
1 glass red wine
In a large saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onions. As these get to a clear glossy consistency. Chopped the garlic really well and mix it with the raw mince. Then add the mince beef and the garlic if you are cooking with meat or just the garlic if you are veggie.
Cook until the mince is browned, add chilli powder, cinnamon and cumin. Cook for about a minute. Add sugar and chocolate, as chocolate starts to melt add the tomatoes, kidney beans, wine, half a tin of water (use an empty tomato tin) and stock cube.
Bring to a simmer, lower heat, put on lid and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes. Longer if you can resist the need to eat it as soon as the smell starts to drift from the kitchen.
Serve with rice. Kids may like a few tortilla chips to dip in theirs.