One of the things that can comfort me on a dreary rainy day is a big bowl of Mama’s Chili con Carne topped with chopped red onions and grated cheese and, of course, a steaming heap of white rice. Fortunately, Chili con Carne is also one of The Husband’s favorites; so we decided to cook some yesterday. I wasn’t able to grab my Mama’s famous recipe, so we followed Jamie Oliver’s recipe from his Ministry of Food cookbook (my first ever cookbook, which is a steal because I bought it at 30 AED / estimated PHP 300 / USD 7 only at Borders MOE).
Jamie Oliver is not actually part of my list of favorite celebrity chefs. But I’ve recently tried watching his 30-Minute Meals show and I’ve become a Jamie Oliver fan since! I appreciate how he makes his recipes so easy to do for normal people like me. AND he also is not ashamed to use frozen vegetables and some pre-made ingredients to make healthy eating more accessible especially if you don’t get or keep fresh vegetables. This a concern for two-people households like ours.
Jamie Oliver’s Chili con Carne recipe is certainly the most colorful and the healthiest I’ve ever cooked and tasted. It’s certainly a great way to sneak in vegetables for non-vegetable lovers like The Husband. We did some tweaking in the recipe given some of The Husband’s preferences, but I will share with you the original Jamie Oliver recipe.
What you need:
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, minced
- 2 red peppers, chopped (I chose all 3 colors though: red, yellow and green)
- Olive oil
- 1 heaped spoon of chili powder (You may use Chili Sauce like Tabasco as an alternative like we did)
- 1 heaped spoon of ground cumin
- 1 heaped spoon of ground cinnamon
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1-400 gram can of chickpeas, drain.
- 1-400 gram can of red kidney beans, drain.
- 2-400 gram can of chopped tomatoes
- 500-grams of minced beef
- 1 small bunch of coriander, separate the leaves from the stalk.
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- Heat a casserole with olive oil over medium high heat. Toss in all chopped vegetables: garlic, onions, carrots, celery and bell pepper. (Option: you can toss in bell pepper towards the end since they do lose their crunch as The Husband prefers)
- Add the spices: cumin, cinnamon, chili powder and salt & pepper.
- Stir every 30 seconds for 7-minutes until veggies are softened and lightly colored.
- Add the drained chickpeas, drained red kidney beans and chopped tomatoes.
- Add the minced beef and break the large chunks up with a spoon.
- Finely chop the coriander stalks and mix in.
- Add balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour and a half to two hours depending on how thick or thin you enjoy your chili. Should you find the chili too dry, add some water to loosen up the mixture.
- Serve piping hot and top with coriander leaves. (At home, we top our chili with minced red onion and grated cheese. Do you use any other special toppings?)
To be honest, this recipe didn’t hit home for me. It made me miss my Mama’s cooking more…Don’t worry I already asked her for the recipe of Chili con Carne. BUT I sure am happy that The Husband is quite satisfied with the turnout plus he gets more of the vegetables he needs. Sneaky move right? Hehehe!
Or maybe it didn’t hit home because I didn’t eat it with a bowl of rice? Hehehehe! Chili con Carne is really best eaten with a steaming hot white rice 🙂
Delirious about delicious,
P.S. Chili con Carne is #11 of my 30 Favorite Food Stuff. Whoa! 1/3 through the list…Hehehe!