Thursday 3 February 2011

Innocent Chilli Con Carne

Carne means meat, so please don't beat me up for making it with pork mince... Just feel free to change to beef or chicken, or quorn for a veggy version.

I never really got the difference to Bolognese sauce, but I was never really good in sticking to a recipe anyway. My Bolognese always had mushrooms, so why not add a few beans and chilli powder and we have a chilli. So, as usual with my recipes feel free to amend. Don't like garlic - leave it out, fancy some fresh or dried basil - be welcome to add.

My version is worth 100cal per 100g finished dish.
You need:
500g lean mince (pork, beef, chicken)
250g close cup mushrooms
1 can = 400g Tomatoes
1 medium to big onion preferably white, but red is OK
2 gloves of garlic
70g =  1/2 a tube tomato puree

2 tbs oil, preferably olive oil
4g Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp chilli - or to taste, rather add a bit more at the end
70g full fat Philadelphia cheese, plain (some cream is fine as well)
A frying pan with lid

Now prepare everything before you heat the frying pan; throwing it all together will go very quickly, no time to prepare stuff in between.

From the mushrooms cut off the ends of the stem, if they are grey in the middle and feel a bit soggy take them out and throw away. If the mushrooms peel, then peel them, otherwise just very quickly rinse them (but only if they are still closed, they hold water like a sponge) and roughly chop them in 4-6 pieces each.

Peel the onion and cut it in rough cubes.

Peel the garlic gloves and roughly chop them.

Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and check for funny bits, take them out and roughly mash the tomatoes, works best by using hands.

Weigh the salt and measure the other spices with it into a small bowl or saucer

Drain and rinse the beans, there is sticky stuff at the bottom which I don't like.

Heat the frying pan with the oil full power.

Add the onions, stir until slightly brown, careful with red ones, it's hard to see.

Add the garlic and brown as well, careful, goes very dark quickly, should you get into the danger zone, take off the heat and quickly, add a little sip of water to make it boil; on that occasion you might want to open a window.

Add the meat and stomp and stir until it becomes all crumbly.

Sprinkle the spices and thoroughly mix in.

By now there should be a bit moisture in your frying pan which comes from the meat, if it is very dry either reduce heat (gas) or add a bit of water (electric), just enough to not have it burning

Add the tomato puree and stir it in

Add the mushrooms 

Add the beans

Stir it all together and put the lid on.

On lowest heat, let simmer for an hour. Stir 2-3 times especially towards the end to check that it is not sticking.

Then melt in the Philadelphia cheese.

Ideas for other spices
  • Paprika powder,
  • Cumin powder,
  • Coriander powder,
  • Basil
  • Oregano

Calorie count
  • 640 kcal - 500g low fat pork mince
  • 32 kcal  - 250g mushrooms
  • 51 kcal  - 70g = 1/2 tube tomato puree
  • 92 kcal  - 400g can tomatoes
  • 261 kcal - 240g can kidney beans (strained)
  • 172 kcal - 70g Philadelphia cheese, plain
That makes about 1250 calories per pot. The whole pot weighs 1200g. That means that 100g cost approximately 100 calories.

How 2 Serve
I usually have it just as it is. It however is a perfect dish to serve at a party (this portion probably would serve 3-4 people):
  • It goes well with pasta, but even better with white bread and a 
  • dark, strong yet fruity red wine. 
  • Offer a simple salad of strong leaves like lamb lettuce, rocket and spinach, mixed with cherry tomatoes and a balsamic dressing to add some freshness.

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