CHILLI!

Sorry, no photo. But you all know what chilli con carne looks like anyway, right? This is however, a pretty epic version thereof, even if I say so myself xx

Ingredients

1.5kg beef mince (I prefer to use lean, but that is personal preference of course)

250g chorizo (about an entire cured chorizo sausage)

3 onions (I used red, but I don’t think it’ll make much difference either way)

6 whole star anise

3 small red peppers

6 cloves garlic

1 pack small mushrooms

1 cinnamon stick

3 tsp ground cumin

3 tsp sweet smoked paprika

3 tsp dried oregano

4 tsp cayenne

4 small dried chillies

4 400g tins of kidney beans

4 400g tins of whole tomatoes in juice

1/2 a bottle red wine

2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Method

Heat a really big saucepan with a good lug of olive oil and brown the mince in batches. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside. Chop the chorizo into really small pieces and fry in the same pan until the fat runs. Drain and chuck it in with the mince.

Roughly chop the onions and soften them in the fat from the chorizo with the star anise. While they are softening, chop the peppers and mushrooms into fairly chunky pieces and crush the garlic. Once the onions are soft, ditch the star anise and add the peppers, mushrooms, garlic, cinnamon stick, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne and crumbled dried chillies. Give it all a good stir and cook for a couple more minutes.

Throw in the beans, tomatoes and wine and return the mince and chorizo to the pan. Stir it all in, trying to to break the tomatoes up too much. Stick a lid on it and simmer for a couple of hours at least, but you can cook this pretty much all day if you want – just make sure it doesn’t dry out.

Just before serving give it all another big stir, mashing the tomatoes up this time and taste. Season with pepper, salt and balsamic vinegar as necessary. I recommend serving it with the full monty: rice, sour cream, grated cheese, salsa and guacamole!

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