Thursday, 16 September 2010

Chilli Con Carne

Everyone likes chilli. It is so versatile and can be added to a wide array of foods to make a lovely meal. The classic combination is with rice, but I also like it with potato wedges, a salad, or with tortilla wraps. Today I had some freshly grown potatoes from my veg patch to use up so decided to have a large jacket potato with my chilli.

It is probably my favourite food to make in large quantities and to freeze into large and small batches. It is then just a case of defrosting thoroughly and heating through, eradicating the need for a lot of preparation and washing up (no-ones favourite job). A large batch will be for the whole family, while a small batch (like today) will be sufficient to scoop on top of a jacket potato.  At a cost per serving of less than a pound it is a hit with the purse strings too, which is guaranteed to impress the boss (my wife!). So everyone is a winner.

1kg Lean Beef Mince  £5.00
2 400g tins Chopped Tomatoes   82p
2 Medium Size Onions, peeled and finely chopped  36p
3 Celery Sticks, finely chopped   40p
2 Red Chillies, seeded and finely chopped   33p
1-2 tsp chilli powder, to taste
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
2 tsp Soft Dark Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Worcester Sauce
1 tbsp Dried Oregano
300 ml Beef Stock
2 tbsp Olive Oil

  1. Heat oil in large flameproof casserole pan to a medium heat (not too high so onions don't burn!)
  2. Fry onions, celery and chillies until onions soften (approx 10 min)
  3. Increase heat, add beef mince, and cook until browned, stirring constantly
  4. Pour out excess fat (if any) into old container
  5. Add chilli powder, ground cumin, and tomato puree. Mix well for a minute.
  6. Add sugar, worcester sauce, oregano, stock and tomatoes. Stir well and bring to boil.
  7. When boiling, lower heat to a gentle simmer and cook for approx 40 min until ready
  8. If you wish to add kidney beans, stir them in 10 min before the end
Total Cost £6.91, which produces 8 servings,
Cost Per Individual Serving = £0.87p

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