Chilli (chilli con carne) is a sentimental dish for me; it’s the first thing I properly made. Now it’s Liam’s favourite, so it’s often on the menu. I also love the ways you can serve it: flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or with plain rice. In this case we served it with tacos and fried onions & peppers.
It’s very simple, and a great dish for learning a lot of fundamentals that you can then transplant into other dishes. It’s also adaptable, you can turn it into bolognese, shepherd’s pie and a dozen other meals with a twist on the herbs and spices.
This one is made by frying an onion with garlic, then browning mince. At this point I’ve two directions to go in, if I’m rushed for time and can’t let the dish bubble for a couple of hours I add an Oxo cube for seasoning. Then I add a tin of tomatoes, then powdered chilli and cumin. After half an hour of simmering it needs seasoning and then we’re good to go. Personally I don’t like it too spicy, more savoury, so often a splash of soy ends up in there for depth of flavour.
Another thing I like about this is the sharing aspect. You’re all sat round a table, grabbing a taco shell, spooning in some chilli, dollop of creme fraiche, sprinkle of cheese, hands bumping over the food… great communal stuff. I love it.