Easy Chilli in the garden

It must be said that I am a big fan of Dutch ovens, so when the kadai is lit, 99.9% of the time I have the Dutchie bubbling away on top. Tonight it was time for a chilli.

Step 1 (let’s assume the fire is lit)

Chop up a small onion & a large carrot. Place the dutchie level on the heat & add a splash of oil. Chuck-in the carrot & onion mix & stir well to stop the mix welding to the pan. Keep stirring – the idea is to sweat the moisture out of the veg & for them to caramelise, not cremate. And BTW, don’t rush this step – keep sweating the veg off for 10 – 20 minutes depending on your mood & enthusiasm.

Step 2 (complete after step 1)

Add 500g of mince to the pan (your choice of mince – can be animal or veggie). Stir & break up the mince & mix well with the veg. Keep stirring until all the mince goes from pink to a light brown colour & if you have meat that has a high fat content, periodically spoon out some of the liquid fat (unless your food covered in grease).

Step 3

Add a good squirt of tomato puree (about 1 – 2 tablespoons) & stir in. Then add a tin of whole tomatoes & a tin of baked beans (trying to get the younger troops to eat kidney beans is like getting blood out of a stone so I opt for baked beans instead). Then half fill the empty cans with water, swoosh them about a bit & add the swooshed liquid to the mix. Stir gently trying not to explode the toms & cover with a lid. Now sit back & look at the view, remembering to stir the pot every now & then, & if the mix gets claggy at any point just add a splash of water to loosen the mix.

Step 4 Season & taste boys (& girls), season & taste…

After about 20 – 30 mins gentle simmering (not boiling to death), the toms should of disintegrated (if not squash them up with a spoon). Now taste the mix; if bitter add some sugar or honey, if bland, add a stock cube & or salt & pepper. Now add a little chilli powder then stir & taste again. Repeat to personal taste.


Step 5 serve with…

Rice? Jacket spuds cooked in the embers? Boiled new spuds squashed & then pan fried? Chips or sautéed spuds? Tortillas or even plain crisps? Scoopy bread like naan or pitta? Or just on its own with a spoon & a beer. Oh, I dont know, you decide….

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