Chilli Con Carne

Chilli con carne works equally well for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Perfect for a surf trip, hunting trip or anywhere else you might want to serve a warm and spicy meal to a hungry crowd! The nice thing is that it actually improves after standing a few hours, so you could prepare it in your potjie, and then go into the sea or veld, and upon your return when everyone is cold and hungry, you can just warm it up and bask in the glory. Don’t be put off by the fairly long list of ingredients – the method makes up for it as it’s very straightforward. Serve it as is or with a piece of bread.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4)

  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (seeds and stalks removed, then chopped)
  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (or cayenne pepper)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tot tomato paste (or 1 50 g sachet)
  • 1 can borlotti beans (drained and rinsed under cold water)
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed under cold water)
  • 1 tot vinegar
  • 1/2 tot sugar
  • 1/2 tot salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream (250 ml tub, to serve)
  • fresh coriander leaves (to serve)

WHAT TO DO

  1. Heat the oil in a potjie over a hot fire. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper and fry for 5–10 minutes until the onions are soft and the edges start to turn a bit brown.
  2. Tip in the mince, stir and break up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Fry for about 10 minutes until the beef starts to ‘catch’ on the bottom of the pan, taking care not to let it burn.
  3. Add the carrot, paprika, cumin, chilli powder and coriander, and stir well.
  4. To this, throw in the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, chickpeas, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, and then stir well.
  5. Bring the mixture to the boil, then cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every now and then to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  6. Remove from the fire and serve with a dollop (ja, I know, I don’t like the word ‘dollop’ either, but the editor insisted that it’s the best way to describe it; so there you go, ‘dollop’ made it into the final draft of my book) of sour cream and some fresh coriander leaves. Alternatively, you could take the potjie off the fire, let it rest somewhere with the lid on, and reheat it a few hours later before serving.

AND …

If you’re planning to prepare this meal when you’re on the road, don’t pack all the bottles and packs of spices. Just measure them out at home and throw them together in one small bag or container.

Recipe & photo copyright: JanBraai

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