Monday 11 July 2011

My Chilli Beef

Comfort food is a very important part of my life. I think everyone needs comfort food some times, whether its because of the weather, or a bad day at work, or just a need for a little lift and a soft 'snuggle' from warm, meltingly good food. I have to say that during my pregnancy I didn't have too big a need for comfort foods - in the first four months I felt too sick to eat and in the last two months I didn't have any space left for food!

For me the best comfort food involves a decent amount of carbs, should be warm and have some 'sloppyness' to it. Fish pie, chocolate fondant and chilli beef come to mind. The chilli beef provides a good amount of heat from the chilli, velvety-ness from the rice and the beans and substance from the beef. Obviously I highly recommend you get decent beef from the butcher - it really does make a difference!

I am not sure how 'original' this recipe is. In fact it is not really a strict recipe at all; it being aimed for days of need of comfort the recipe is always adjusted to my mood on the day. I like it with a kick, but not too spicy and I love to add a load of beans and red peppers for texture. The usual suspects involve chilli (obviously!), cumin, cinnamon, anchovies or Worcester sauce and Tabasco. I then play around with quantities. So please feel free to play around with this one according to your cravings.

Serves 4

500g of minced beef (you can use chopped braising steak as well)
500g passata
2 onions
2 red peppers
1 chilli chopped
1-3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp Worcester sauce or 2 fillets of anchovy
1 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 cans of kidney beans, drained
a few drops of Tabasco (optional)
beef stock cube or fresh (optional)
olive oil

Chop the onions and add to a pan to fry off. Add the chopped chilli and anchovies (if using Worcester sauce, add it when you add the other spices). Once softened, add the mince meat and allow to fry off (the secret is to have on a fairly high heat, make sure to separate the mince into small bits, keep stirring and allow to cook down till most of the liquid from the meat has evaporated). Add all the spices and the passata, turn the heat down and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes. When you put the rice on, add the chopped peppers and the beans to the beef and allow to cook for around 20 - or as long as the rice takes to cook. Finally season with Tabasco, salt and pepper and serve with the boiled rice and some sour cream or Greek yoghurt.

1 comment:

  1. This looks really tasty. You could also add some guac. Another thing to serve it with instead of rice is plain tortilla chips. Put in bowl and put chilli on top.