Friday, November 16, 2007
Great British Pudding Challenge and a Chilli con Carne
No. It is not a picture of a great British pudding. You are absolutely right. It is a picture of a jacket potato smothered in chilli con carne and topped off with guacamole and sour cream. Yum. But before I talk about the joys of this delicious chilli, I would like to send you away. I want you to go and take a look at Rosie's blog, 'Rosie bakes a 'Peace' of Cake'. Upon hearing about the demise of the traditional British pudding, Rosie has decided that food bloggers must unite to preserve our wonderful puds. She has launched the Great British Pudding challenge. I fully intend to take part and urge you to do the same - do take a look. Go on. Just click here.
Those who have managed to stop drooling over Rosie's delicious cakes and have returned may like to hear about the chilli I made the other night. Another great winter warmer that freezes really well - I made a big batch and then froze it into smaller portions. I work in the wine industry and, as you can imagine, we are coming up to our busiest time of year - I is good to be prepared with food I can just heat up when I get home exhausted each night!
There is nothing original about this recipe - I found it on the BBC Good Food website. I thought I'd play around with it somewhat, but then I decided that there was really no need. It was perfectly good as it was. The only change I made was to add oregano rather than marjoram (I didn't have any). In fact, being super lazy, I am not even going re-write the recipe - just give a few notes. Click here for the recipe.
Basically, you sweat onion, garlic and red pepper in a mixture of spices (paprika, chilli and cumin). The smell is wonderful. It is a fairly spicy recipe so adjust accordingly. You then brown the meat. I would recommend doing this in another pan, in small batches, otherwise it stews rather than fries - you want a bit of caramelisation on the meat for added flavour. The mixture is then simmered away with tomatoes and stock.
I always add a square or two of dark chocolate to chilli - it adds a lovely smoothness to the sauce. It may sound odd, but you can't actually taste the chocolate. I do the same with venison casseroles - again, it doesn't taste chocolately, but gives a great texture to the sauce.
I am not wild about rice, so I like to serve chilli with jacket potatoes, topped with sour cream and guacamole. Alternatively, it is great stuffed into tortillas, sprinkled with cheese and popped under the grill for a few minutes.