As you are probably aware, I am moving out of my flat and into a new home. This change of circumstance presented me with a conundrum.

What should be my final meal in the place I’ve called home for so long?

I had loads of different ideas of what I should cook. I considered tapas, but I’ve packed most of my pans away and I’m trying to avoid buying food until I’m settled in the new place.

I thought about a charcuterie platter, but this felt like a cop out. While it  is one of my favourite meals, there’s no cooking involved. And it requires me to buy too much cheese. Ok, I’ll admit, it’s not an actual requirement but, what am I supposed to do? Buy one kind of cheese? What am I? An animal?

Breakfast for tea? Not enough pizzaz.

Roast dinner? I rarely make them, it wouldn’t be fitting.

After I really thought it through (and looked in my freezer) I realised the answer was obvious.

Chilli con Carne! The ultimate in homely, warm nourishment. Chilli is one of those meals that has no set recipe, it’s what you make of it. All you need to make sure of is that there is meat (I’m not vegan, remember) beans, cumin and a good amount of heat. I can make chilli 5 days in a row and you can bet your ass

I can make chilli 5 days in a row and you can bet your ass that they will all taste different. Sometimes I’ll go extra heavy on the heat, other times I’ll add in something like sweet potato. It is the perfect way to say goodbye to a one-bedroom flat that has seen me through thick and thin.

I had to pair down my chilli this time because half my stuff is at the new place. But I had a few extra bits to use up in my fridge and, let me just tell you, it worked a flipping charm. I’ve not made chilli like this before, but I can guarantee that I will make it again.

Ingredients

500g Beef Mince (anything over 20% fat is golden for this)

Chorizo (don’t go overboard with this, I have done in the past and it just tasted like paprika and salt)

Red Onion

Garlic

Red Bell Pepper

Salt

Black Pepper

Paprika (just about half a teaspoon)

Thyme

Cumin Seeds (toasted and crushed)

Tinned Tomatoes

Kidney Beans

Dark Chocolate Powder (Just Do It! I had Bourneville in a drawer somewhere)

Maple Syrup (I’d say a dessert spoon, it counteracts the bitterness of the chocolate)

Madras Chilli Powder (how much depends on your threshold for pain)

Cayenne Pepper (same as above)

Olive Oil

Arborio Rice (an odd choice, but I didn’t have any other rice in)

*Possible Additions: Ginger, Coriander, Celery (Salt or Stalks)*

Method

  1. Really finely chop the garlic, onion and chorizo
  2. Heat the olive oil and fry all of that at a mid-low heat until the onion starts to get translucent, stirring often
  3. Add the beef and stir
  4. Cook at the same temperature for about 5 minutes, making sure the chorizo/onion/garlic is mixed in with the meat
  5. Add all the herbs and spices, but not the chocolate and maple syrup
  6. Finely chop and throw in the bell pepper
  7. When the peppers have softened slightly, throw everything else in, whack the heat up and keep stirring
  8. When it starts to bubble, turn the heat right down, put a lid on the pan and walk away from it for about an hour
  9. Seriously, just leave it alone
  10. Head back and give it a taste, add whatever you want to boost. Careful with maple syrup, though, it has quite a pronounced taste and you’re not making a weird meaty dessert
  11. Lid on, sort the rice out
  12. Serve with sliced avocado and stare at your empty flat with tears glistening in your eyes. Or just eat it, your choice
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