Best ever chilli con carne

Ingredients :
250g/9oz dried red kidney beans or 2x410g cans, drained
900g/2lb 4oz ripe tomatoes, skinned
900g/2lb 4oz braising steak
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
½-1 tsp hot chilli powder or cayenne pepper
1 rounded tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
600ml/1 pint beef or chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
soured cream or crème fraîche, to serve
roughly chopped fresh coriander, to garnish

Method :
1. If you’re using dried beans, put them in a bowl, cover with plenty of cold water and leave them to soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
2. Drain the beans, tip into a pan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve. Roughly chop the tomatoes.
3. Cut meat into 1-2cm/½-¾in cubes, discarding any excess fat. Pat dry on kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or sauté pan until very hot. Fry half the meat, for about 10 minutes or until well browned. Drain with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat with the remaining oil and meat.
4. Add the onions to the pan with the chilli, paprika, cumin and sugar and fry very gently for 8-10 minutes until deep golden and caramelised. Return the meat to the pan with the garlic, tomatoes, stock and red kidney beans (if using canned beans, add for the last 30 minutes of cooking time). Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, on the lowest setting for 1¼-1½ hours until the meat is meltingly tender. Check the seasoning and serve with spoonfuls of soured cream or crème fraîche, and plenty of coriander.

Preparation time overnight

Cooking time over 2 hours


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