Frugal Chilli Con Carne

Today I have a guest blog from my sister’s recipe collection. Here she goes:
image (6)
Here is a recipe with many virtues – it is frugal, time-saving, versatile, nutritious and delicious.
It’s frugal because some of the minced beef is replaced with organ meats, which are cheaper (they are also very nutritious, but I’ll get to that later). It also has beans which are another cheap source of protein.   Find out how to cook beans here.  I like to cook a huge batch of beans then freeze in portions similar to the amount you would find in a tin.
It’s time-saving because this makes a HUGE batch.  This makes 4 meals for my family of 5. When I cook it, I serve a quarter of it for dinner, then after it cools, I split what’s left into 3 portions and freeze them in zip-lock bags.  Then I have 3 dinners I can pull out for those nights when I’m busy or tired.
image (5)
It’s versatile.  Use it for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, on a baked potato or just on a bed of polenta. I’m sure you can think up other uses for it.
It’s nutritious – it’s packed full of all sorts of good things.  I think we all know that vegies and beans are fantastic.  Less known (but becoming more so) is that organ meats are very nutritious (much more so than muscle meats) and it’s important they are regularly included in our diets.  This recipe includes liver and heart. See here for more info on the benefits of liver and some more recipes.
It’s delicious.  The whole family loves it.  They can’t detect the organ meats in it.  It’s a meal that everyone looks forward to and gobbles up quickly.  I almost always serve it with some grated cheese, sour cream and guacamole on the top.  A sprinkling of chopped spring onions is lovely too.   (I like this guacamole recipe
except I use a lot less garlic).
  • 3 onions
  • 3 red capsicums
  • 6 stalks celery
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • fat or oil for sauteing (olive oil, ghee or tallow are good)
  • 500g lambs liver
  • 500g lamb heart
  • 1.5kg beef mince
  • 200g tomato paste
  • 6tsp ground cumin
  • 3tsp smoked paprika (or sweet or hot paprika – you choose)
  • 3 cups cooked adzuki beans (or other beans of your choice)
  • 700mL jar tomato passata
  • 2 cups beef stock (approx) See here
  • chili powder or tabasco sauce (to taste)
  • quality sea salt (to taste)
1. Chop the vegetables to small dice and crush the garlic.  This is quick and easy in a food processor.
2.  In a very large pot saute the vegetables and garlic in some fat or oil.  I use a BIG enameled cast iron pot with a lid.
3. Meanwhile mince/puree the liver and heart in the food processor (or you could ask your butcher to mince it when you purchase it).
image (1)image (3)
4.  Remove the vegetables from the pot to a large bowl.  Add more fat/oil to the pot and brown the organ meats and mince meat in batches (about 500g at a time).  You want the meat to brown, rather than stew, so don’t put too much in at once. As you brown each batch, add it to the bowl with the vegies, so you can do the next batch.
5.  When you have browned the last batch, add in the spices and tomato paste and stir for a few minutes.  Add the rest of the meat and the vegies, the beans, passata and enough stock to cover everything. Stir it all together.
6.  Now let it cook slowly for a while to develop the flavours and reduce the liquid a little.  You can do this on the stovetop by letting it simmer gently with the lid off for at least an hour.  Or you can put the lid on and put it in the oven on 160C for a few hours (check it every so often).  For the oven option you need a pot that is ovenproof (which is why I love my enameled cast iron pot – it can go from stove to oven).
image (7)
7.  Add in the chili powder or tabasco sauce until the dish has the level of spice you prefer.  Add salt to taste.
8.  Devour in whatever manner you please.