Happy New Year to one and all! Hi folks, BBC1 here. Our mate Lizzie is coming to us for NYE so we can have a film fest and see the new year in with Jools Holland’s Hootenany. We decided to do a buffet style meal so we could graze through the evening. BBC2 has made his lovely BBQ style chicken wings, some sausage rolls, smoked salmon and cream cheese quiche, some sausages wrapped in bacon and a lovely strawberry pavlova. I have made a Waldorf salad, a tuna pasta salad, and tomatoes with red onion in balsamic and olive oil. I also made a humongous batch of chili, so I think that’s today’s and tomorrow’s food sorted!
The chili is a standby for us because we can make it and then put it into the slow cooker to keep warm and ‘mature’. I have read so many chili recipes on blogs and on the net over the last few months and this made me want to experiment a little. I am so pleased I did, it’s gorgeous!
1 kilo of minced/ground beef
2tbs olive oil
3 onions diced very small
4 cloves of garlic minced or grated
2 Kashmiri red chilies
2tsp cumin seeds
1 stick of cinnamon
1tsp dried basil
1tsp dried oregano
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp onion salt
2 beef stock cubes
Several glugs of port, approx 150ml
3tbs of tomato purée
4 x 250g tins chopped tomatoes
2 x 250g tins of red kidney beans
50g of plain cooking chocolate
Salt and pepper to taste
Firstly I dry fried the cumin seeds and the broken up cinnamon stick for a couple of minutes until the aromas and oils were beginning to be released. I then placed these and the two chilies in a grinder and ground to a fine powder. You can use a pestle and mortar or you could use pre-ground spices.
Next, using a large heavy bottomed pan on a medium to high heat, I browned the meat in batches and removed to a plate. This is essential, because you need the flavour and you don’t want to ‘steam’ the meat.
Using the same pan, I added the oil and began to sweat the diced onion until just translucent, about three to four minutes. I then added the minced garlic and all of the herbs and spices and continued to fry for another three minutes. I then put the meat back into the pot and stirred everything together. At this point I crumbled in the beef stock cubes and the tomato purée and turned the heat to high. I then added the port and let this mainly evaporate before putting the chopped tomatoes into the mix. I brought this to a boil then turned the heat down to a gentle simmer and added one tin of kidney beans and the chocolate. After an hour or so of simmering I checked for seasoning and added approx 1tsp each of salt and pepper. I then added the final tin of kidney beans and let these heat through for about twenty minutes.
As with all stews or casseroles this is ten times better the next day as all of the flavours mature and mingle. Is great served with plain rice, salsa, guacamole and sour cream!
BBC2 says it’s my best chili yet, can’t wait to see what Lizzie thinks!