Friday, 28 March 2014


No, I haven't turned into Jennifer Lopez. Although I can bust some moves like good old J'Lo. No tonight is Mexican night here at MattyB Bakes.

For me a good chili con carne is an essential comfort food meal, one that if I know were having it for tea then I crave it all day. It's especially good on a day like today - that day being Friday! What better day to reward yourself for surviving another week of work then a good old chili.

Now I never used to like any spice in my chili, however over time I've been conditioned by a certain someone, who used to slip in the odd chili into all kinds of meals, to now miss that warm kick of a good spicy chili when it's not there. I find adding chili to any kind of tomato sauce based meal such as a bolognase really gives it some ooompf!

Tonights chilli brewing away. Yum!
I can't stress as well how good it is too slow cook your chili. If your not part of the slow cooker crew yet you really should invest in one. You can pick up a fairly decent one for next too nothing. For my fellow scousers out there take a trip to good old TJ Hughes. We got ours from there for next to nothing and it's not let us down yet. The slow cooking time really gives your chili time to really brew and the result is really deep and flavourful chili and a beautiful warm smell wafting through your house. Nothing more comforting than that is there!

 Now I can't take credit for the amazing chili I'll be eating tonight. That has been made by Jon this evening (isn't it so much better on a Friday when someone cooks for you). He used the signature recipe from The Tavern in Liverpool which you can find here.If your ever in Liverpool do check them out, they do a mighty fine full English it has to be said and take a look too the left - nachos and dip, pure Mexican bliss. Definitely give them a try if your in the area.

I'm not all about the cake; let me share with you my own chili recipe I've developed over the last couple of months. Of course from my previous post you will know that I'm on the fast diet and this recipe is perfect for both non and fasting day. Just serve sans rice on a fast day. For veggies; simply swap mince for veggie mince of your choice. This is always a good idea if your trying to cut further cals from your meals:

Chili Con Carne - Serves 4

400g Lean Mince/Veggie Mince
2 Onions (Red or white whichever you prefer)
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Fresh Red Chilli's (or more if you like it hot!)
5-6 Large Mushrooms
2tsp Ground Cumin
2tsp Ground Coriander
150ml Red Wine
300ml Veg Stock
400g Tin Of Chopped Tomatoes
2 Fresh Tomatoes Copped Into Quarters
400g Kidney Beans (tinned or dry soaked overnight - I think soaked beans give it more "meat")
1 Splodge Of Tomato Puree
1tbsp Dried Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
Chili Powder (optional)
Salt And Pepper To Season 

  1. Add your mince to a medium to hot oiled pan and throw in your onions. Give them a stir for 5 minutes or until the onions just begin to soften.
  2. Grate your garlic and lash it in with the mushrooms, cumin and coriander and whizz everything around for another 2-3 minutes
  3. Add the wine, (with glug more for good luck - it''s Friday after all) and then add the veg stock. Keep stirring to prevent sticking to the pan and trauma when it comes to washing up later.
  4. Wait until the mix is slightly bubbling and then throw in your tinned and fresh tomatoes along with the kidney beans. Keep stirring and use your spoon to break up the fresh tomatoes - this add any extra depth of tomatoey goodness to the chili.
  5. Throw in a splodge of tomato puree (more if you want more of a tomatoey taste rather than a slightly more winey one) along with the oregano and the bay leaf. Give everything a mix and let it bubble for minutes
  6. At this point give your mix a taste. Not spicy enough! Throw in some more chili powder to suit your taste.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. At this point you can either transfer the mix to your slow cooker if you plan on cooking for more than three hours. If your looking for a quicker meal bring the mix to the boil before reducing to a simmer for 45mins (30 if using veggie mince).
 There you have - my perfect chili recipe. Do give it a go and let me know what you think.

Serve with my perfect rice!
Later on today I'll be showing you the results of our slow cook chili and recommending more places to have a fab Mexican night out both here in Liverpool and down in London but for now I'm off to do a salsa around the kitchen.

"Que tenga un buen dia".

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