A family fave and crowd pleaser, Chilli Con Carne is perfect for a lot of people.  Get a big pot of this on and invite a heap of people over, they might never leave!  If you are not a fan of Guacamole, sour cream would do the trick and the cheesy tortillas are the perfect scoop for this fiery mix of meat n beans.  A crisp green salad with ranch dressing completes this Mexican Fiesta!!

Prep time:  30 minutes

Cooking time:  1 hour (the longer the better)

$ Low Budget

Serves 8

For the Chilli Con Carne:

1kg beef mince

2 medium brown onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbs ground cumin

1 tbs ground coriander

2 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp dried chilli flakes (2 if you like it fiery)

1 cup of sun dried tomatoes, cut into strips

2 x 400gm tins of chopped tomatoes

2 x 400gm tins of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/3 of a cup of tomato paste

1 tbs sugar

juice of 1/2 a lime

1 bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped (save some of the stems for the Guacamole and a few leaves for garnish)

1/4 cup of pickled Jalapeno peppers, for garnish

Sea salt and Cracked pepper

For the Guacamole:

2 x ripe avocados, mashed

1/2 a red onion, finely diced

1 small ripe tomato, finely diced

juice of 1/2 a lime

1 tsp of tabasco sauce

1 tbs finely chopped coriander stems

Sea salt and pepper

Extra virgin olive oil (just a drizzle)

Paprika to dust

For the Tortillas:

16 tortillas

2 cups of grated tasty cheese

For the Salad:

Mixed salad leaves

1 small red onion, sliced in rings

1/2 a cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 a cup of buttermilk

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup of red wine vinegar

2 tbs finely chopped dill

1 tbs chopped parsley

Sea salt and pepper

To make the Chilli Con Carne, heat a little oil in a heavy based, large saucepan and fry the onions until soft.  Add the garlic and fry until fragrant.  Add the mince and brown all over and break it up while it is browning.  When the mince is brown all over,  allow any liquid to evaporate before adding the spices and continue to fry until fragrant.    Throw in the sun dried tomatoes, tin tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and lime juice and allow the mixture to come to the boil.  Add the kidney beans and give it all a really good stir to combine, reduce the heat to low and let the Chilli Con Carne bubble away nicely for a good hour, the longer the better.  Season with salt and pepper and have a taste, now is the time to make any adjustments.  If you like it hot, pop in some more chilli, a little at a time of course.  If you think it needs more salt or sugar just add some, don’t be scared!  Add the coriander leaves just before serving as they add a nice punchy flavour.

To make the Guacamole place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper.  It is nice to put it in a clean bowl and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top and sprinkle with a little paprika and fresh coriander leaves.

Heat a griddle pan or fry pan to nice and hot.  Sprinkle a tortilla with tasty cheese and top with another tortilla to make a sandwich.  Place the tortilla sandwich in the pan and press it down with a saucepan lid.  Dry fry it until golden and flip it and do the same on the other side.  Keep them warm in the oven on low while you repeat the process with the rest of the tortillas. When you are ready to serve the feast, cut the tortillas into quarters.

Combine all the ranch dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.  Arrange the salad leaves in a nice salad bowl with the onion rings and drizzle with the dressing.

I like to serve Chilli Con Carne  like a banquet and everyone can help themselves.  If you have plenty of the chilli left over, it is great to freeze.

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