Amelie Rose’s 3 Meat Chilli
A big pot of chilli is fabulous at any time but an ideal meal if you’re likely still to be on passage come dinner time because; a) it can be made in advance, b) it can be eaten from a bowl with a spoon, and c) if there are any remains they can be left on the cooker in case the night watch gets a little peckish come the early hours.
Although a decent chilli kinda has to include chilli peppers in some way shape or form I’ve found that these can be either calmed down or even missed out completely if anyone really can’t manage them. The key here is to make sure that there is a good depth of flavour, and that’s where the 3 meats and the long cooking time come into play.
I also have a damned fine vegetarian chilli recipe too btw (actually it’s vegan) – but I’ll cover that another time. The sharp eyed amongst you may note that strictly this is a 2 meat chilli, in that two of the ingredients are pork-based, but y’know – there are 3 meaty ingredients so it is what it is.
Serves: 6 – 10 (let’s call that 8 shall we?).
Time: 2 -3 hours depending on how fast you are at chopping things up.
Minced beef: 1 – 1.5 kg (I usually aim for a minimum of 150g per person but a little more or less won’t hurt). Lean or even extra lean is fine because there’s plenty of flavoursome fat coming from elsewhere – but on the other hand, you’ve been sailing so you’ll need that energy!
Chorizo: 100 – 200g, However you can get it really, either a “ring” (like a U shaped sausage) or slices like pepperoni. If you end up with a ring don’t forget to peel the skin off. I generally get the slices as they are easier to cut up. This is being added primarily for its smoky flavour but by all means get a spicy one if you want.
Green Streaky Bacon: 12 – 20 Rashers (basically a packet). I don’t mean mouldy, I mean not smoked. Quite why this is termed “green” has never been explained to me but there we are. To be honest, the fattier the better here – again this is flavouring – the fat will add richness to the end result.
2 – 3 Onions: Use 3 if they look like overgrown pickled jobs, 2 if they are at least as big as your fist.
4 Carrots: Again, add more if they are spindly little affairs. Some would argue that carrots have no place in a chilli. I say that they are cheap, good for you and work perfectly well with the flavours here, so “some” can go have that argument elsewhere. Ditto any other bits and bobs of root veg or leftovers that you have lying around. Just chuck it in at what seems like an appropriate time.
Mushrooms: Approx 600g, that’s usually two packs if your mushrooms come in those horrible plastic boxes that make them sweat. Any type will do.
1 large tin of Sweetcorn: As much as you like really – adds sweetness and crunch.
2 400g tins Peeled Plum Tomatoes: You can use ready chopped but whole are generally cheaper and in my opinion you get more actual tomato in the tin.
0 – 5 tsp Cayenne Pepper: Essentially this is a question of how much you like heat. If you decide on less cayenne then add more paprika. The total should be 5 tsp of red stuff, how you split it is up to you. Chilli flakes can also be substituted for some or all of the Cayenne. (The flavour from flakes is different and, to my mind, nicer)
0 – 5 tsp Paprika: See Cayenne Pepper above.
1 Cinnamon Stick.
2-3 Bay leaves.
2 tsp Basil & 1 tsp Oregano (or a generous sprinkling of mixed herbs, or tea, or whatever comes to hand really)
2 tbsp Vinegar: Yeah, malt vinegar, like you put on your chips. I know, it’s weird – just trust me ok? (The acid in the vinegar will take the heat out of the chilli – which is an alkali – but will leave the flavour behind.)
4 tsp Sugar: Unfortunately, the vinegar, whilst awesome at de-heating chilli, does tend to sour things rather. The sugar redresses the balance.
2 400g tins Red Kidney Beans: Otherwise it’s not really a chilli right?
Now, you may, or may not have cooked any of my stuff before but you should know that I really, really am not a fan of faffing about like the TV Chefs do. So – if you want to brown your meat and set it aside whilst you soften the onions with a gentle caress of heat and all that associated rubbish, you go right ahead. This is how I do it, and it tastes just fine.
- Throw all of the minced beef into a nice big pan. No need for oil unless the minced beef came from a cow that used to run marathons. Put the pan on a medium to high heat and mash up the beef a bit so that the biggest chunks end up about the size of a kidney bean.
- While the beef starts to brown cut up your chorizo. If it’s a ring then that involves peeling it and chopping into kidney bean sized chunks. If (like me) you use slices, then cut it with a pair of scissors into thin strips. Either way once it’s done throw it straight into the pan and stir it into the beef.
- Next up do the scissors trick with the streaky bacon. Small strips, straight into the pan and stir.
- Now dice the onions into small/medium (fingernail sized) chunks. As soon as you’ve cut all of the onion up, chuck it in (this will have given the meats enough time to brown). Stir in the onion.
- Either scrub or peel the carrots and chop into the same sized chunks as everything else. In they go – don’t forget to stir.
- Brush the worst of the muck off the mushrooms and either slice them or (my favourite) quarter them. If they’re mahoosive then chop them some more but your average closed cup job will be just fine quartered. Chuck ‘em in and stir.
- Open and drain the sweetcorn, empty it in.
- In with the toms too – don’t bother cutting them up – they’ll gently disintegrate all on their own.
- Now, throw in all of the spices and herbs and vinegar and such, and give the whole thing a darned good stirring. Cover and bring to the boil if it isn’t already. Once boiling, turn it down to a simmer (with the lid still on) and go do something else for an hour. You can check it and give it a stir now and then but it’ll be quite liquidy so should look after itself.
- After an hour has passed take the lid off and chuck in the kidney beans complete with their juice. Stir again and leave on simmer for another hour. You’ll want to check it/stir it a bit more frequently now – and if it starts to get too thick maybe water it down a bit with some water or stock.
- Once it’s thick and juicy and tasty serve it with a big bowl of my “Idiot-proof rice”. Oh! Yeah. You might want to warn folks about the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves. Or maybe just let them enjoy that discovery for themselves.
If you want to speed it up a bit then you can jack the heat up for the second (lid off) stage but make sure that you stir it regularly if you do. Equally, if you want to slow it down then just turn it off at the second stage (but put the lid on it). You can then complete the job with the lid off when you’re closer to hungry time.
PS If you have a freezer then this freezes beautifully and is the perfect “instant” microwave meal.
Enjoy! (And let me know how it goes in the comments below).
The Galley Slave
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