It’s Monday so that means it’s time for another affordable dish! This dish is spicy, flavourful, comforting and in general just very very exciting. I mean, whoever invented the combination of tomatoes, beans and minced meat is a true genius! Pair with cooked rice and you have a great and hearty dish.
Always when the boyfriend would suggest cooking chilli or any Mexican dish in general I would wrinkle my nose in disgust. Now I seriously can’t remember why! I mean I love beans, I love minced meat and I love vegetables… I’m not into spicy food that much but hey, I’ve gotta learn. And this is a great dish to start.
At home we used to have many of those packages and flavour bags that would tell you what to add and BAM! you had a Mexican dish. Or you just needed to add vegetables and minced meat and the stuff in the package would turn it into a “real Italian pasta dish”.
For me that sort of takes away the fun of cooking. I haven’t used any of those packages in a looong time: fresh ingredients are way better! And this way I’m able to control how much salt I eat, too. Aaaaand it’s of course a great way to improve and use your creativity in the kitchen; I don’t need inspiration from those menu flavours anymore!
One of the reasons why I wanted to start this blog is a conversation I had with my little brother. (he is waaaay taller than I am but 2 years younger so technically I am allowed to call him little!) We never really knew what to talk about as we were so different. Then one night I was watching Harry Potter, our parents were in bed already and he came and sat next to me. At a sudden moment he started asking question about my cooking.
That night sort of changed our relationship. We were talking like actual adults about things like living on our own and cooking for ourselves or with friends, instead of the usual fighting we did!
Anyway, I told him I liked cooking from scratch. I remember him asking “… But how do you get the flavour in then? You need something like Knorr, right? To know what you need and how to get the right taste?” Well… No? You don’t? It’s called cooking my friend. I know for a fact that he doesn’t read my blogs but if I can inspire anyone who is like him, completely inexperienced and insecure when cooking, my job is done. 😉
So, having never cooked chilli con carne before I was actually quite insecure myself. I asked the boyfriend, who said “just combine minced meat, tomatoes, onions and beans.” Well, thanks for the help my friend. (To be fair he sent me a complete instruction via WhatsApp later that day but I was too stubborn to look at it!)
And since I am incapable and way to tenacious to follow a recipe anyway I decided to just give it a go. After all, not much can go wrong with those ingredients! And I’ve made many stews with tomatoes before so I sort of knew the ratios.
I used red pepper instead of chilli flakes and kept thinking: “don’t rub your eyes. DO NOT rub your eyes!” because honestly, my mind is usually elsewhere when I’m cooking and one day that’s gonna end in a disaster. This is also why I can’t follow recipes. My mind just wanders and whoops, I’ve cooked a whole different dish!
When my mind wanders I think about soooo many random things. Usually I start brainstorming about the blog I want to write: if only I could connect my mind to my computer it would be done before the dish was! Also, I find myself talking as if I’m in Masterchef even though there’s no camera’s around. Not even an audience. It’s a bit sad really. Anyone else who talks to him or herself? Please?
Chilli con carne
So onto the actual dish! Like I said it’s my own version of chilli con carne, if you have any suggestions or secret ingredients I should add next time please let me know!
Oh, I nearly forgot to mention: this dish will only cost you €1,70 per person!
- Tomato, 3 large
- Onion, 2 large
- Bell pepper, 1 (I used yellow)
- Garlic, 1 clove
- Red pepper, 1 piece
- Brown beans, 250g (drained)
- Minced meat, 200g
- Smoked paprika powder, 1 teaspoon
- Salt and pepper
- Chop up the onions and the garlic and add them to a pan with some oil. Cook on medium heat while chopping up the tomatoes for around 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes in pieces. Let this continue to cook so that the tomatoes release the juice.
- Chop up the bell pepper and the chilli. Add this to the mixture in the pan.
- Season the meat with salt and pepper and add this as well. Cook until brown.
- Add the brown beans.
- Season with some smoked paprika powder and more salt and pepper.
- Serve with 100g rice for two: yumm!