Last night a few of us gathered to watch the election results come in. This kind of party only needs two ingredients: hearty food and plenty of booze. I settled on making chilli con carne… with a difference. This chilli is so simple as its made in the slow cooker and then is topped with cornbread, courtesy of Nigella.
This will serve roughly 8. For the chilli you need:
- roughly 1kg of good minced beef
- 1 tin of kidney beans
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- squirt of tomato puree
- glug of red wine
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp of cumin
- 3 tsp of chilli powder
- 1 red chilli
- 1 onion
- 1 red pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic
If you don’t have a slow cooker don’t worry, you can simmer this on the hob. But I love easy recipes and this produces a really rich and tasty chilli con carne. All you have to do is brown the mince in a frying pan and then tip into the slow cooker. Then in the same pan, fry the onion, pepper and all the spices in some olive oil until they are quite soft (just over 5 minutes).
Tip this into the slow cooker and then add all the other ingredients.
Slap the lid on and leave it overnight to cook on slow for about 7 hours.
In the morning, transfer to a dish and leave to cool before bunging in the fridge. On your return home all you need to do is make the cornbread.
- 1tsp salt
- 325g coarse cornmeal/polenta
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
- 375 ml buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp runny honey
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- handful of grated cheese
Whack your oven on to 200 degrees. Then combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and give it a bit of a mix. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, buttermilk, oil and honey. Combine the two, beating the ingredients together with a wooden spoon, until you have a lovely yellow batter.
Meanwhile, transfer your chilli to a oven proof dish, we used a le creuset, and gently heat it up on a low heat. Pour your cornbread batter over the top like a lid, don’t worry about being precise as this is meant to be cosy, hearty food. Top with your handful of grated cheese and cook for half an hour.
While that’s in the oven set about preparing any extras you might want. I made a bowl of really simple guacamole, by just mashing 3 avocados with some lime juice and coriander. I also combined 3 tablespoons of soured cream with 1 of creme fraiche to make a nice cooling and creamy sauce. Grate some cheddar and whack that in a bowl and throw some jalapenos, fresh coriander, nachos and lime wedges on the table.
Bring your chilli to the table and then cut through the cornbread topping, slicing it into cake wedges and spooning out the chilli underneath and then let everyone help themselves to the extras. Warming, simple and delicious – this is a great option for a low key dinner or weekend lunch party.