I’ve been neglecting Friday Food – apologies – so here’s a simple recipe for a popular pan of nosh that should appeal to almost everyone. Chilli Con Carne is, by definition, made with meat, but if you have a trusted vegetarian substitute, then by all means use that.
Maybe not quite that much chilli
All you need: one can of red kidney beans (rinsed), one can of chopped tomatoes, onions (I use 500 grams, because it’s half a one kilo bag), just 250 grams of minced beef (you bought a 500 gram bag? Put the remainder away in the freezer or freezer compartment and do another pan later), a teaspoon of chilli powder, and 45 grams of spicy chilli paste (quarter of a 180 gram jar).
The paste, which I got from Asda – so I assume other large supermarkets do something similar – is the secret ingredient. Make sure you store the opened jar in the fridge.
Pausing just to state the obvious – that you need a pan that’s going to hold all of those ingredients – let’s make a start.
Soften the onions in a little olive oil (doesn’t have to be an expensive brand, the £3 a litre Aldi kind is fine). Make sure they’re softened up before the key step, which is to stir in the paste and chilli powder. Make sure it’s well distributed – the onion should have yielded a little fluid to help you here – and then give the whole a few more minutes before stirring in the mince (or veg alternative).
Stir that regularly and make sure the meat is cooked throughout. Don’t let anything stick to the bottom of the pan. Then add the chopped tomatoes and kidney beans, stir through, and heat gently for another fifteen minutes at least. And that’s all there is to it.
The recipe makes three large or four small portions, and what you serve with it is down to choice. I do pitta breads because they’re quick and easy.