Chilli con carne. It’s one of my go-to meals regardless of the time of year; it’s easy to make, filling, healthy and freezes like a dream. Best of all, it tastes even better re-heated when the flavours have had time to mingle even more. I call it chilli but it’s not a chilli in the strictest sense of the word. I guess a more apt name for it would be campfire chilli where there’s a bit of everything thrown in and lots of flavour rather than heat. Because of this, I don’t tend to make it super spicy but you can control that yourself with the heat level of the chilli powder.
Now, up until now we’ve only eaten it as the adults of the house and so things like bacon aren’t quite such an issue but if you’re cooking it for your baby too then you may not wish to give them salty processed food just yet. I’ve starred the bits that you’ll want to remove or swap for low-sodium or low-sugar versions if you want to make it more suitable for baby led weaning. We usually make our chilli con carne with beef but recently I’ve been using turkey mince as we’re on a freezer use up. I’m not normally a huge fan of the taste/texture of turkey mine but it actually works really well here, especially if you want a slightly chunkier chilli perfect for little hands!
Chilli Con Carne (Feeds 4 adults)
You will need:
- 500g lean mince (turkey or beef)
- 4 rashers of bacon, roughly chopped*
- One chopped onion
- One tin of chopped tomatoes
- One tin of kidney beans (drained and washed)
- One tin of baked beans*
- Two beef stock cubes*
- One pint boiling water
- 1 tsp chopped garlic/garlic puree
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
To serve (for adults!):
- Rice/Baked potato
- Sour cream/Crème fraîche
- Spray pan with fry-light and brown off mince, breaking it into small chunks as you stir
- Once lightly browned, add the onion and bacon. Crumble one of the stock cubes over the top, stirring at regular intervals to prevent catching
- When both onion and bacon looks lightly cooked, mix the remaining stock cube with the pint of boiling water and pour the water into the pan
- Add all remaining ingredients and stir well
- Bring the pan to the boil before reducing the heat and allowing to simmer for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning
- If you’re planning to re-heat or freeze the mixture, leave it with a little excess liquid as this will cook off upon reheating. If you’re planning to eat it immediately, continue to cook until the liquid is reduced to a thick gravy consistency. You can always add additional hot water if required.
- Once thickened sufficiently, remove from heat and serve.
- Best served for adults with a side of rice or over a jacket potato and a generous dollop of sour cream/crème fraîche to stir through
To freeze this dish, allow to cool completely prior to freezing. When re-heating, you can always ‘pad out’ the recipe by adding extra tins of tomatoes, beans and stock then allowing it to simmer down until thickened again.
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