No matter what time of year it is, I always seem to be in the mood for chilli con carne. I’ll take it any way – spooned over fluffy rice or a baked potato, tucked inside a tasty burrito… The possibilities are endless. Just now and again, when greed and laziness get the better of me, I give in to temptation and serve it in its least sophisticated and most indulgent form: smothering a platter of curly fries.
This is a recipe I’ve gradually tweaked over the years and now return to again and again. Rich, warming and aromatic, this is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. The mellow, smoky sauce perfectly complements the hearty mixture of beans, beef mince and slowly-braised, melt-in-your-mouth steak. The combination of minced beef and steak pieces may not be something you’ve tried before, but believe me, it works.
As I’m guessing a lot of people won’t have time to throw this together at the end of a long day, the quantities in this recipe are for a large batch that you can divide up and freeze. The heat factor is fairly strong so scale down on the chillis if you fear your taste buds might not be up to it.
I’m under no illusions about the geographical authenticity of this version of chilli con carne, and therefore never think twice about adorning it with a dollop of sour cream and generous handfuls of grated Cheddar cheese.