Chilli con Carne

by Travis Harvey

And so it was that we staged a chile night last month, at the behest of my homesick American friends who felt like a bit of mom’s down home (not really) Mexican cookin’. So American is this dish in fact, it only appears on gringo menus in Mexico. I experimented with various cooking techniques and spices to make it good, and I really do think it is. Serve with a side of Christian fundamentalism, apple pie and a bud light, dude. Just kidding. The fact that it’s an faux “ethnic” American dish doesn’t make it bad.

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 pounds of ground beef
3 onions, diced
½  head of garlic, chopped
2 red peppers, sliced
1 cup raw red beans
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bunch thyme, diced
1 inch cinnamon quill
2 pounds of tomato
1 chile guajillo
2 chile pasa
1 small tin of tomato paste (100g)

1. Boil beans with bay leaves if you have them. Reserve.

2. Place tomatoes and chiles in a pot with water. Cover and boil for 20minutes then liquefy. Reserve.

3. Heat oil in a large, hot pan. Add beef, salt and pepper. Break up the meat and cook until nicely browned. This should take approximately 10 minutes.

4. Add onion, garlic, peppers and spices. Continue to stir and cook for another 5 minutes.

5. Add tomato mixture and paste and reduce heat. Simmer for at least an hour and serve with rice or potato. Add a pinch of chopped cilantro to finish it off.

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