Chili Con Carne with Guacamole and Home-made Tortillas

Chili con Carne I would venture to guess that there are very few people who’ve never heard of “Chili Con Carne”.  It’s just one of those dishes that are easy to prepare but still results in a delicious, delicate...

Chilli con Carne
Chili con Carne

I would venture to guess that there are very few people who’ve never heard of “Chili Con Carne”.  It’s just one of those dishes that are easy to prepare but still results in a delicious, delicate flavour. The other advantage is that you use only one pot, spend very little time with preparation and most work will be “done without you” while cooking. Your end result should be a rich deep red sauce. To make sure you achieve the rich red colour, roast vegetables and meat well so that the natural saccharides caramelize forming a nice golden brown skin on the surface.   That not only brings colour but also taste to our dish.

This time I used venison but most commonly beef is used. Feel free to use any red meat of your choice.  Have you ever heard about white chili?  Well it´s simply “Chili Con Carne” with turkey or chicken replacing the red meat and white beans instead of the tomato sauce. The resulting dish is pale in colour and drier in texture.  I also use a range of spices such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon and bay leaves.   My friend from Mexico advised me to add some dark chocolate at the end! Haven´t tried it yet so if you’re about to give it a try be sure to let me know your opinion!

Martina

Chili Con Carne

Formerly, we were advised to freeze chili after cooking to let the flavours incorporate.

Varieties of beans that are commonly used in chili are black-eyed peaskidney beansgreat northern beans, or navy beans.

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots
  • 20g piece of celery
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • ½ a red bell pepper
  • 5 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp. cumin,1 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. coriander, chili to taste
  • 1kg minced venison
  • 100g tomato purée
  • 800g canned tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper
  • 350g corn
  • 350g black kidney beans

Directions:

  1. Cut carrots, celery and bell pepper in cubes about ½ cm in diameter.
  2. Put in a preheated pan with sunflower oil together with bay leave and sauté at medium heat until the surface is caramelized and golden brown (10min).
  3. Add chopped onion and sauté for additional 5 minutes; add chopped garlic together with cumin, cinnamon, chili and coriander and sauté one more minute.
  4. Increase heat to maximum and quickly brown the minced meat, adding to the pan in batches. When browned, mix in the tomato purée and canned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, cover with lid and let stew for at least 45 minutes.
  5. Now when it comes to the corn or beans being used, the faster canned version works well or you can cook fresh from scratch.  In both cases, follow instructions on package labels for cooking or rinsing.  Add your beans/corn to the pan and cook for additional 10 minutes.
  6. Remove lid and let rest for at least 15 minutes so that the flavour develops.

Tortillas

Making homemade tortillas may sound like a too long, to difficult chore but it’s the exact opposite, moreover, the result is more than worth it! I have a kind of “free-style” recipe that shouldn’t even be called a recipe, rather a “way how to”.I have actually never measured how much flour I use as it depends on actual circumstances being that the texture can differ between the brands as well as moisture. The resulting dough should not be sticky, rather drier and homogeneous.

Tortillas
Tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of cake flour
  • 1 handful of white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp. water
  •  1 tbsp. of natural yogurt

Directions:

  1. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add water and yogurt and make a nice homogeneous dough.
  2. Separate in about 8 pieces and roll out into thin circles (about 3mm) the size of the palm of ones hand.DSC_1601
  3. Preheat a dry pan to medium heat.
  4. One by one put your tortillas into the pan, cooking for about 2 minutes from one side and one additional minute on the other side.

Guacamole

Guacamole
Guacamole

So now we have a pot of great smelling spicy Chilli Con Carne and tortillas to accompany this delicious dish. The only thing we’re missing is the sauce to smoothen the spiciness. The answer is GUACAMOLE or as the old Aztecs would say  ?huacamolli (?huacatl – avocado + molli – sauce). This avocado based sauce originated in Mexico and is said to be a real source of health and beauty (75% of its energy comes from fat, most of which is mono-saturated fat). I usually add some sour cream to make it creamier, and in that case however, I omit the lemon juice which is normally present to prevent oxidation.

Avocado
Avocado

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 100g sour cream
  • ½ a shallot
  • 1 small tomato
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Cut avocados in halves and remove the nub. With a spoon remove the pulp out of skin, put in a small bowl and mash with fork.
  2. Chop shallot and tomatoes into small cubes about 3mm in diameter. Add to avocado together with sour cream, season with salt and serve.

Chilli con Carne with Guacamole and Tortillas
Chili con Carne with Guacamole and Tortillas