Friday, 17 June 2011

Low-Fat Chilli Con Carne

Chilli responds very well to the low-fat treatment - use the leanest mince you can get (mine was less than 5% Hereford Beef Mince from Waitrose) and use as little oil as possible in the initial saute.  By bulking it out with a red pepper and lots of kidney beans you can keep the calorie count to around 250 per person, 450 with 60g of rice each (dry weight).  So, simply saute an onion and couple of cloves of garlic in a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan for 5 minutes until beginning to soften and tuen golden.  Add a chopped red pepper and 200g of minced beef.  Stir until the meat is no longer pink.  Now add a teaspoon of chilli powder, or to taste, 3 teaspoons of Hungarian paprika (not the smoked Spanish stuff), 2 teaspoons ground cumin and a teaspoon of dried oregano.  Stir in 200mls of beef stock and half a tin of tomatoes, along with a good splodge of puree and a drained rinsed tin of kidney beans - small or large, depending on appetite.  Cover, and simmer for a good hour until tender, removing the lid for the last 10 minutes to reduce the liquid a bit.  Just before serving, throw in a square of dark chocolate - the higher the cocoa content the better, and allow to melt before stirring through.  This transforms things, mellowing and smoothing proceedings and adding a dark gloss to the dish.  Enjoy!

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