‘No packet’ Chilli Con Carne

I have always, always, always made chilli con carne from a packet mix. After reading a few recipes on American blogs, and becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of salt and other nasties in pre-prepared seasoning mixes, I decided I had to try making it from scratch.

Let me tell you, I am NEVER going back! This was dead-easy and super tasty! Please, please don’t buy chilli con carne mixes from your supermarket – you really don’t need to.

With a little sour cream and some grated cheese on top, plus a small helping of rice (trying to watch my carbs!), this was a perfect after-work meal. I included some capsicum to get some vegies in there, and though the addition of polenta was genius as a thickener.

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker:

750g beef mince (or you could use gravy beef/chuck steak)
1/2 large brown onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
400g can of chopped tomatoes (or half a bottle of tomato passata – as you’d know mine was homemade!)
1 1/2 cups beef stock
400g can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium red capsium, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup instant polenta

In a large pot, heat some olive oil. Brown the meat with the onion and garlic over medium heat. Once browned, remove the extra liquid from the pot carefully.

Add the tomatoes/passata, beef stock, beans, capsicum, seasonings and cornmeal, stirring well. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 1 and half hours.

Serve with steamed rice, sour cream and grated cheese. Will make enough for 4-5 people or less if you serve with less rice.


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